Neonicatinoids, GMO, Colony Collapse Disorder And A Recipe From Organic Indian Products

April 3, 2014

In my Chicago area office, I often discuss nutrition, recipes and the need to avoid GMO and pesticides as part of a smart disease prevention program.

The past year, I had the honor to be intricately involved with creating and shooting a film (Bought) to be released this summer, which highlights the conflicts of interest in our food and health policies. During my research and interviews with experts and activists, I realized avoiding GMO and the few fruits and veggies which retain pesticide residue, is not enough to avoid harmful chemicals.

Neonicatinoids are a category of pesticides which are used to soak seeds in. Once the seed is planted, the chemical is incorporated in every aspect and cell of the plant. While GMO seeds are typically soaked in this chemical to impart some added pesticide resistance (the inherent GMO pesticide resistance is not working), many large-scale farmed conventional (non GMO) vegetable seeds are also soaked in this chemical.

Farmers buy seeds and if they are not organic, it is likely they have been soaked in neonicatinoids. Typically, farmers are unaware of the practice or don't understand the implications.

Neonics affect the autonomic nervous system of all living beings. Insects, animals and humans have nicatinoid receptors in their nervous systems. While all pesticides are damaging bees and are contributing to their decline, Colony Collapse Disorder has been shown to be severely increased due to the use of neonicatinoids.

Perdue University Entymology department has published crop yield analysis which show neonics do not increase crop yield, so we are poisoning the bees and ourselves with nothing to show for it.

While becoming more aware of the issues, I have decided it is not enough to avoid GMO foods, it is not enough to avoid the top 20 fruits and veggies which test high in pesticide residue even after washing, it is necessary to avoid produce from seeds which have been soaked in neonics.

While industry friendly news outlets like to imply only anti-science folks think GMO and neonics are problematic, this is far from the truth. A Forbes writer recently wrote about how bees die off periodically and that man is not contributing to colony collapse disorder. Sound familiar? Don't get me wrong, I doubt neonics are the sole contributor. We know bees used for commercial pollenization are fed a diet of GMO corn syrup, a diet sorely lacking in nutrients and ripe with glyphosate.

I hope to educate my readers on the intricacy of the food chain and how the foods we choose to ingest along with the products we choose to put on our bodies and in our homes affect our health along with the heath of the other living creatures around us.

To end this blog entry, I want to include a recipe for a creamy Bengal Dal (lentil) cauliflower soup which is easy to make and was created with organic ingredients found at a local ethnic market. It is encouraging to see ethnic markets, and in this case, a Greek owned market catering to south East Asians, carrying organic pulses, beans and spices grown in India.

Creamy Bengal Dal and Cauliflower Soup:
(vegan, low glycemic, high protein, high fiber, grain and gluten free)

one large cauliflower, 2 cups of dried split Bengal Dal, two Tblspn coconut or African red palm oi,l two inch cubed fresh ginger, one Tblspn curry powder, 1 tsp tumeric, 6Tblspn coconut aminos (can use soy aminos), one cube organic vegetable bouillon, a handful of dried curry leaf, a half tspn of chilli pepper (optional), a tspn of ground black pepper and a bunch of cilantro.

Place Bengal dal in rice cooker with 2 parts water (2cups bengal dal 4 cups water) along with a Tblspn of oil and allow to cook.

In a large soup pot, place everything else, including the other Tblsp of oil, set on low to medium heat and allow to cook (with lid to keep all nutrients), once dal is cooked, add and puree with hand held mixer or carefully pour into blender or processor and blend until creamy.

I served this with homemade croutons using stale organic ancient grain bread, basted with avocado and olive oil mixed with curry powder and then toasted.

This soup is very high in protein and fiber while having little carbohydrates and an adequate amount of healthy fats, including Medium Chained Triglycerides(MCT). Bengal dal has an extremely high protein and fiber content, once fiber has been subtracted from the total carbohydrate, there is almost a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. In addition, Bengal Dal is one of the tastiest species in the pulse-legume family. It is akin to a young chikpea but more like a large lentil and finding it grown organically in India with a European certification for organic, is exciting as India has begun to increase it's pesticide (another blog entry) use along with other developing nations and many of the spices and specific lentils (dal) are only grown in these nations. Therefore, finding organically grown products from India is another promising sign that people around the world are waking up and are not taking their poison without a fight.

Paleo, Keto, Low Glycemic, Anti Inflammatory. What are you trying to achieve?

February 10, 2014

It seems that everyone is on some sort of low carb diet. The wave of people on some variation of a paleo diet is growing for good reason: carbs are inflammatory and excess carbs lead to increased triglycerides and dense LDL, and hence, heart disease diabetes and even increased cancer risks.

However, it seems many people have their own interpretations about what should be eaten and how much can be eaten on a paleo diet. In addition, the original goal to be healthier, seems to have been thrown out of the door in exchange for eating as much as someone wants and still not gain weight.

A whole foods diet, low in carbs and cooked food and void of processed food, is a preferable diet, in general. But, when saturated with lots of cooked animal tissue, it becomes inflammatory, acidic and is loaded with carcinogens.

It is true that eating a healthy low carb, clean diet can afford you more calories and more fats while allowing you fat loss and muscle growth. However, unlimited access to animal protein and fat, especially animal tissue cooked at high heat without the presence of water, like grilling or barbeque as opposed to a meat stew, creates a myriad of heterocyclic amines and has been shown to increase bowel inflammation.

In addition, most people do not buy organic meat, dairy or eggs and therefore expose themselves to pesticide residue and GMOs. Animals raised on soy and corn meal, produce meat and eggs which has a poor ratio of omega oils, being predominantly omega 6. And, soy and corn feed are rich with GMOs and pesticide residues which concentrate in fatty tissue and egg yolks.

The theory behind a paleo diet is until 10,000 years ago (a very short blip of time in our evolution), humans ate as hunters and gatherers. Our diet consisted of fresh kill and all kinds of foraged greens, seeds, nuts, berries, insects and sea greens and mollusks, if near the ocean. There is little evidence for grains being part of the diet until about 10,000 years ago.

From a health perspective, avoiding grains typically reduces one's carbohydrate load and eliminates commercial snack food, both very good things. However, people interpret "paleo" in many ways. Paleo does not mean eating unlimited amounts of meat, eggs, bacon and butter. Early man, worked in egalitarian social groups where food was shared, there would not have been unlimited access to these foods.

Cooking meat increases heterocyclic amines and hence increases risk for cancer. Raw meats such as steak tartar do not have heterocyclic amines and it is not known if raw animal protein increases cancer and general disease risks as cooked meats do. But, most do not eat unlimited amounts of raw meat.

Plant based diets are loaded with proteins as well as phytonutrients and are less acidic in nature. While it is important to eat adequate fats, including saturated, this can be done with a plant based diet which incorporates, coconut, macadamia and cocoa (chocolate) butters or oils. Seeds, nuts, and avocados are also wonderful sources of important and healthy fats.

In general, with few exceptions, plant based diets do not stress resources in the same way meat based diets do. The amount of water and energy required to produce a pound of animal protein is several times that necessary to make plant based protein. And, the amount of CO2 produced to produce animal protein is several times greater than the CO2 produced for plant based protein. Westerners, especially Americans, eat huge amounts of animal protein and if the rest of the world wanted to eat like Americans, we'd need 2.5 more planet earths just to do this. Whether grass fed cattle produce more or less methane has been an ongoing debate. Evidence shows omega 3 oils (grass fed ) fed to cattle, reduce methane production, but grain-fed fatten quicker and therefore have a shorter life-cycle which reduces the individual cow's lifelong methane production. Grain fed is unnatural and unhealthy.

On a large scale, eating beef will never be an environmentally sound choice. And, a diet high in animal tissue will always be pro-inflammatory at the least and pro-cancer at the worst.
This is not to say that a diet with a modest amount of grass-fed meat is unhealthy, it's a diet heavy on unlimited amounts of meat which is the problem.

In addition to the pro-inflammatory and ecological issues, excess protein is converted into glucose by the liver during the process of gluconeogenesis. So, if you have a history of eating excess carbohydrates or have had insulin resistance, eating excessive protein is not going to lower your glucose or insulin levels. To really reduce your glucose and insulin levels, you need to reduce your carbs; eat only the amount of protein you need and eat the rest of your calories in healthy fats.

How do you know how much protein you need? for a normal person just trying to maintain their muscle mass 1 gram of protein per kilo weight of lean body mass is appropriate. More if you are weight training and actively building muscle mass. For an lean 120lb female, 50 grams of protein is adequate, if she is very active in strength work, even 60 to 70 grams could be appropriate but at this level of protein intake, it would be important to check urinary pH levels to make sure there is no acid ash being produced and then neutralized.

Excess proteins lead to an acidification of the system which in turn, needs to be neutralized by bicarb. The bicarb is pulled from bone sources in the form of calcium carbonate. This process leads to bone resorption and mobilization of calcium, two things everyone wants to avoid. This is theoretically the reason we see more osteoporosis in those with high dairy intake, and vascular calcifications in those with a high meat intake.

Big Picture:

Eating a more plant based, paleo, low glycemic, whole foods based, diet is easy and healthy. If you love meat, eat grass fed buffalo, beef, butter, wild venison etc, but do it in moderation and have your extra calories come from healthy fats like nuts, seeds, coconut or cocoa (chocolate plant) butter and avocados as well as raw and cultured vegetables for fiber. Keep an eye on the protein intake and of course, keep the carbs to a minimum.

Joint Pain, Think Twice Before Injecting Steroids or Taking NSAIDS

January 21, 2014

Every week, new patients present to my Chicago area office, with pain in one of their joints. And often there is pain in many joints.

Pain in multiple joints can be an autoimmune arthritis, systemic inflammation or side effects from medications, while pain in one or two joints is most likely due to wear and tear on the ligaments, tendons or cartilage.

It is very common for athletes and people in their 40's and up to experience some form of joint pain from time to time. Often over use or repetition, can lead to tendonitis, most commonly, pain from overstretched tendons.

The mistake most people make is to take daily anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) or to receive steroid injections. The issue is not inflammation per se, but rather, lack of a strong inflammatory response. Tendons, ligaments and cartilage have poor blood supply and the inflammatory response is often not strong enough to bring enough blood flow and hence oxygen and growth factors to the area.

Often what poorly-infused tissue needs is a push. The push can be thru an electrical signal such as SCENAR or it can be thru injection of a mild irritant, also called Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy uses mild irritants such as dextrose (sugar) or even pummice.

I like to evaluate each patient's situation carefully in order to decide the plan of action. SCENAR is almost always necessary and many times injecting dextrose helps create some well needed inflammation. What the injection does, is to promote blood flow including platelets which are rich with growth factors and oxygen.

The mainstream accepted treatment of joint pain is actually pulling the joint away from a corrective healing response by suppressing an inflammatory response. It is true that eventually, the inflammation needs to be replaces with a shift to a restorative phase.
However, this shift is in the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and not a local one.

The main reason patients can not recover from an injury is because their ANS is stuck in acute fight and flight tone. Once that is switched off with SCENAR, healing begins.

Prolotherapy is just another way to speed up the healing by increasing growth factors to the area.

Next time your doctor or trainer tells you to take NSAIDS or recommends a steroid injection, think twice. Steroids actually increase the chance of spontaneous rupture by thinning out tissue and reducing growth factors and oxygen to the area.

How We Take For Granted Basic Care And What Has Truly Saved Lives.

December 31, 2013

December 22, 2013

While the concept of IV saline as fluid replacement was written about, Prior to the 1950's, I.V. fluid replacement therapy was not widely used.
This equates to people dying from dehydration from all viral or bacterial infections which can lead to diarrhea and/or vomiting; just about any illness.

In addition, 1956 was the year inhaled drugs were formulated for asthma and launched the beginning of life saving asthma treatments in emergency rooms and clinics around the world.

I think it is worth mentioning, the early 1900's saw death rates from scurvy as high as from just about anything else, including all childhood diseases which led to diarrhea, asthma and dehydration. As death rates began to plummet with the onset of access to vitamin c in the winter, clean water and sewage treatment, so did all death rates from scurvy and and all infectious diseases. In fact, death rates today are what they were already on target for in the late 1950's or even earlier.

As I have spent years managing patients in emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and in rescue response, it has become appearant, thousands of lives are saved daily across the country because of fluid replacement therapy and nebulized asthma treatments. These very patients would have died years ago without proper fluid replacement and yet, we don't bother to culture and identify the source of the infection for the average dehydrated patient, we merely treat and send them home after a few hours.

Think about this for a moment. We have considered vaccinations to have saved thousands of lives, but we are basing our presumed death rates on early 1900 numbers, not even late 1950 numbers. And since most children died from dehydration secondary to their illnesses, would they actually go without fluid replacement therapy today? The answer is no, we rarely bother to look for the source of the vomiting or diarrheal illness when someone presents to ERs and clinics across the country, yet these patients would have been mortalities prior to the advent of IV fluid treatment or even good oral rehydration fluids, like the ones I used when I visited Haiti to work in the cholera response clinics.

Access to clean water and good nutrition all year long, goes a long way, but so does access to basic emergency treatment carried out by health care workers. Sound basic care saves more lives than most people realize. Children all over the third world die from diarrhea and dehydration, from many different pathogens, these children need clean water and access to clinics with basic rehydration care, not more multi-billion dollar vaccines and drugs targeting individual pathogens.

Clean water systems and sewage treatment systems are not sexy and shareholders don't benefit. New Drugs and Vaccines make money for shareholders and the industry, but let's not loose site of basic needs and access to life saving basics like rehydration.

Next time you meet an emergency medical technician or physician's assistant, remember, they are saving more lives than the pharmaceutical industry would have you believe.

Treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or RSD

December 11, 2013

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) used to be termed, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD. In fact, the older name is truly a more accurate description of the syndrome.

For some susceptible people, once injured, the autonomic nervous system does not stop sending pain signals to the brain, long after the actual injury should be healed. In many cases, it is from a simple injury such as a needle stick or a contusion, for others, it is from a surgical procedure. Either way, the pain is neuropathic.

The term neuropathic implies the pain is no longer useful or from mechanical stress but rather the nerves are firing without a purpose. In addition to the nerves firing, there is a discreet change in the autonomic nervous system tone in the area of pain. Typically, the skin is mottled, red, purple, warm and sweaty and there can be swelling. The pain is intractable and is described as intense burning.

In the mainstream medical world, this syndrome is treated, albeit ineffectively, with heavy duty prescription pain and or psychotropic medications. In spite of taking many pills, these patients are in horrible pain.

Since the autonomic nervous system functions via electrical signals, it makes much more sense and is incredibly more effective, to treat this syndrome using electrical impulses or frequencies.

I have successfully treated many patients with CRPS , in my Chicago area office, by using SCENAR, homeopathy and by electrically stimulating acupuncture points. Often,relief is on the first treatment.

In many cases, the purple discoloration disappears with treatment as though using an eraser. Normal color is restored immediately.

Regular TENS units or E-stim will not achieve permanent results and need to be applied repeatedly for any improvement. But SCENAR sends a QRS wave in via specific points on the body to allow a dialogue with anterior hypothalamus, the master controller of the autonomic nervous system, which tells the hypothalamus it does not need all this excessive sympathetic tone.

While the acute "fight and flight" (F&F) is absolutely necessary for any injury, the body can not heal under a predominance of this tone. F&F is necessary for swelling, clotting, running, etc.. in acute trauma, but when this tone predominates, healing can not occur.

Some people are more susceptible to having a more hyper vigilant autonomic nervous system due to early exposure to trauma, medications, emotional states or genetics.

The mainstream treatments actually worsen the situation in the long term. Narcotic pain killers suppress the body's natural endorphin production and anti-depressants increase depression in the long term use, the same with the anti-anxiety meds. In addition, the problem is electrical signaling and not necessarily chemical.

There is hope for those with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, but prescription narcotics, antidepressants and anxialytics are not part of the equation.

Those Vaccinated With The Pertussis Vaccine Are Spreading Disease

December 1, 2013

The recent news articles to hit the main stream media in the past week finally states what public health officials and epidemiologists have known for some time: those vaccinated against pertussis are carrying and spreading the bacteria and are responsible for most of the outbreaks.

This news raises the question:
Should we hold those vaccinated with the pertussis vaccine, legally liable for outbreaks?

And, if you look up scholarly articles about previous outbreaks of measles, you'll find academic papers on an entity termed "the paradox of measles" a paradox because those vaccinated are the ones contracting the disease whilst the unvaccinated in many communities with outbreaks, are unscathed.

In addition, the rise in shingles over the past decade or so, is due to the chicken pox vaccine. This link is not denied in academic literature and was even predicted by mathematical biologists and epidemiologists, and was confirmed by another study funded by the CDC.

If vaccinated children and adults are capable of spreading disease, shall we hold them and their parents legally liable for outbreaks? shall we mandate unvaccination as a requirement for public school? Since we can't unvaccinate, shall vaccinated children be kicked out of public school?

While the above statements seem absurd, they are equivalent arguments bioethicist, Art Caplan has and continues to make.

Caplan believes parents of unvaccinated children should be held legally liable for outbreaks of disease.

Mind you, Caplan is no regular academic bioethicist, he is a bioethicist who has made a good deal of money for writing pro-industry speak.

If you read about Art Caplan and his direct financial conflicts of interest, you'll also read Art believes these financial conflicts can be managed while producing unbiased work. He and his previous institution of employment, the UPenn department of bioethics received mega fees from major pharmaceutical companies and the department of vaccine bioethics at U Penn was massively funded by the big vaccine producers.

In addition to the DTap rendering recipients colonized with pertussis bacteria, consider the following; a) recently vaccinated children must be kept away from cancer patients lest they shed vaccine virus. b)The oral polio vaccine was the cause of all polio cases in the US for several decades until, finally, the vaccine industry had a vaccine to replace it with. c)The nasal flu vaccine renders the recipient shedding viruses for several days. d) the rotavirus vaccine is shed in the recipient's stool causing diarrhea in other children. The above examples are just a few of how the recently vaccinated can shed pathogens and hence spread diseases.

So while the mainstream media is waking up to the realities of vaccination and outbreaks, shall we turn on all those who chose to vaccinate and make them pariahs?

I think the freedom to choose the risks vs benefits of vaccinating should be left to the consumer and not dictated by those with conflicts of interest.

Why Scenar is the Only Succesful Treatment for Peyronies

July 23, 2013

I have written about Peyronies disorder in other blog entries. It is one of the least talked about ailments due to the nature of the disease.
In general, men aren't comfortable speaking about personal issues and there really isn't anything more personal than a syndrome which directly affects the shape, size and function of the penis.

Peyronies is advertised as a disease which involves banding of tissue around the shaft of the penis leading to curvature and ultimately reduction in girth, length and sensation.
It is this last part which is what is truly disabling.

The current mainstream treatments which are available are not effective, yet, like futile treatments for many other ailments, they are still being used.

Most of my Peyronies patients have gone thru a series of injections at "specialty" clinics, to no avail. Most of these patients also have sleep issues, anxiety and some even have dupuytren's contracture of the hands. What the other clinics fail to consider is the connection between these symptoms. They are a constellation of symptoms which point to autonomic dysfunction.

The reason that all of my patients leave my office being helped, is the treatment of the missing piece. The dysautonomia is addressed and reduced and the function returns very quickly.

While there might be banding of collagen when the treatment starts, this is not the cause, it is a symptom. Just like with our bones, our bodies constantly create new collagen and breakdown old collagen. Bands and abnormally tight collagen can change and it does so under the direction of a balanced autonomic nervous system.

Our bodies need the sympathetic (fight and flight) response to survive, however, healing of tissue and healthy tissue re-formation can not occur under a system which is in a constant fight and flight mode. Our restorative (rest and relaxation) mode needs to balance out the system.

Scenar is the best way to balance the autonomic nervous system and reduce dysautonomia. Once in balance, meditation, breath work, yoga and exercise are great for maintenance.

I have tried numerous other techniques for autonomic balancing and Scenar is the quickest most assured way I've seen to date.

The best way to obtain treatment is to come in from out of town for a three day period and allow 1.5 to 2 hours of treatment daily. Improvement will be noticeable prior to leaving town and will continue over the next several weeks. For those in the Chicago area, a once per week session for 3 weeks works just as well.

In addition to improvement in Peyronies, the insomnia or sleep issue, as well as the anxiety issue will improve.

feel free to email the office with any questions regarding treatment.

Cultured Cabbage Juice: Rejuvelac or Kvass

June 7, 2013

Every few days, I put up a new batch of cabbage with salt and water in a large mason jar to ferment for my daily dose of lactic acid producing bacteria. While it doesn't sound appetizing, rest assured, it tastes a whole lot better than it sounds. In addition, fermenting raw cruciferous vegetables increases the levels of the cancer fighting compound called isothiocyanates and reduces the amount of phytates.

The benefits of this drink are numerous: it is an easy ,inexpensive source of healthy bacteria for bowel and immune function, vitamin production and source of nutrients which are known to heal the lining of the intestines as well as fight cancer and boost detoxification.

One characteristic that sets cruciferous vegetables apart from other vegetables is their high glucosinolate content. Glucosinolate can help prevent cancer by enhancing the elimination of carcinogens before they can damage DNA, or by altering cell-signaling pathways in ways that help prevent normal cells from being transformed into cancerous cells. Some glucosinolate metabolites may alter the metabolism or activity of hormones like estrogen in ways that inhibit the development of hormone related cancers.

The fermentation of cabbage or other cruciferous vegetable has the added benefit of extremely beneficial bacteria which has another set of health promoting benefits and is a wonderful raw and vegan method of ingesting these cultured probiotics.

For an easy method of creating your own cultured cabbage juice link here

Watch for my recipe on tasty ryeless rye crackers using the cultured cabbage from your drink.

Sexual Dysfunction and The Autonomic Nervous System

May 17, 2013


Many patients come to my office for sexual dysfunction (SD). SD can look like painful intercourse for women and erectile dysfunction (ED) or Peyronies for men. While
there are many reasons for SD, one commonality among patients is an underlying dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The exception is ED caused by vascular damage or induced by drugs.

Most women with chronic pain are told they need hormones, or need to be on very specific diets and do not find much improvement even with these measures. Men with Peyronies are often given painful injections and are not better after those tortuous treatments.

One of the other common symptoms I find in patients with underlying autonomic dysfunction is sleep disorder. Chronic difficulty staying or falling asleep is a sure sign the neuroendocrine system or the autonomic system is not working as it should be.

I have now treated numerous women with sexual dysfunction and men with ED and Peyronies successfully with minimal intervention. However, the intervention used is addressing the abnormalities with deep seated stress or anxiety.

Treatments consist of activating the nervous system by opening up the meridians as well as communicating thru the sympathetic chain directly with the hypothalamus of the brain.
I also use nutrition and supplementation in the cases of those who are deficient.

Phosphatidylserine
and phosphorylcholine are supportive substances for cell membranes and they have been shown in numerous studies to support the stress response in ways which create improved resilience and hence less stress on the system physically and mentally.

In addition to reduced perceived stress, studies have shown reduced cortisol levels, improved brain function and improved nerve-muscle communication as well as better levels of acetylcholine, a neruotransmitter involved in many functions including sexual response.

I find after one or two SCENAR treatments, all that is needed for maintenance is nutritional support. Daily breath work or meditation is also a fabulous way to reduce the stress response and improve resilience, something we all could use a little more of.

For more information on our body's electrical system and the sexual response, watch my lectures and interviews posted.

Succulent Split Pea Soup, Quick Bread and Kale Salad

April 2, 2013

This is a high protein, nutritious and easy to make soup meal, a type of meal often requested by my patients who either taste my lunch or hear about my cooking or attend my food prep classes. And, who have patiently been waiting for a cook book (ugh, don't hold your breath)!

Measure a cup of dried split green peas, place them in a rice cooker along with 2 and a half cups of water and turn the device on (I love the Sanyo digital as it is free of aluminum and teflon and works efficiently).

Slice two large leeks, carrots and parsnips and set aside. In a soup pan, heat organic, extra virgin coconut oil with a tablespoon and a half of high quality curry powder. Once hot, add the leeks until a little golden brown. Then add the parsnips and carrots.

After a few minutes of sauteing the vegetables, add 3 cups of water, two tablespoons of Bragg's amino's and two organic and vegan bouillon cubes and let sit.

Once the peas are cooked and the device switches off or to the keep warm mode, add the peas to the soup. Then take a hand held food processor and puree the whole mix.

For a thinner soup, add more water.

The texture for split pea should be thick and not brothy. This soup is mostly savory but has a sweetness from the parsnips, leeks and carrots. The Bragg's gives it a deep, rich undertone which tends to satisfy even those who "must have their meat".

This is a high protein soup and can be served just with a fresh green salad. If bread is desired, I recommend my chickpea/lentil flour quick bread, recipe as follows:

Measure one cup each of chickpea and lentil flour. Chick pea flour can be found at WF but I prefer to buy it at the Indian markets where I can also find lentil and mung bean flour and the prices are better!
Add enough water to stir the mix, about one to one and a half cups of water.

Sprinkle crushed curry leaf (about ten leaves) crushed pecans, a teaspoon of curry powder or paste (red or green) and a teaspoon of salt and stir well.

In a large cast iron pan, add two to three tablespoons of coconut oil and heat the skillet and oil at 375 degrees. Once pan is hot and oil is melted, pour in the mixture and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until sides are turning brown.

The bread is also high protein and can be used as a protein source alone with a salad for a quick meal.

Curry leaves are found at the Indian markets and make for a wonderful savory flavor, the aroma is savory and enticing and creates a subtle exotic flavor which is not overpowering.

I would balance out this meal with an easy raw kale and apple salad, pre-dressed in mashed avocado, olive oil, salt and lime juice.

Bon Apetit, Btai Avon and enjoy!

More Insight Into"Flu" Season and "Flu" Deaths

February 12, 2013

The CDC likes to advertise that every year approximately 36,000 people in the US die of flu.
Is this true or is it marketing fear in order to promote a vaccine they are heavily invested in promoting?

The deaths reported as flu deaths, are actually deaths from all pneumonias as well as deaths from any complication of hospitalization or medications given to those with "flu like syndromes" meaning any virus or respiratory infection. A good example of what percentage of these are actually attributable to flu is to look at the stats put out by the CDC for the 2001-2002 "flu season".

According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), "influenza and pneumonia" took 62 034 lives in 2001--61 777 of which were attributed to pneumonia and 257 to flu, and in only 18 cases was flu virus positively identified. Yes, you read that correctly, out of the 62,034 deaths claimed were caused by flu only 18 cases tested positive for flu.

It is interesting to note the CDC fails to mention the increased risk of pneumonia from taking acid blockers or anxielytics. a 2005 study (JAMA 2004;292: 1955-60[Abstract/Free Full Text]) found that stomach acid suppressing drugs are associated with a higher risk of community acquired pneumonia, but such drugs and pneumonia are not compiled as a single statistic, so why compile flu stats with all pneumonias and other respiratory stats?

According to quite a few researchers in the field, the CDC is hyping flu to sell vaccines and protect the industry. While in congress,my own mayor, Rahm Emanuel, proposed a bill entitled "the flu protection act of 2005" which would have forced tax payers to pay for any unsold flu vaccine directly to the manufacturer. It did not pass but the federal government is trying its hardest to sell the vaccine.

The few charts of these deaths,which have come my way have shown some very disturbing trends. Patients start out with an upper respiratory infection, given a barrage of medications, often tamiflu, antibiotics, ibuprofen, acid blockers and often steroids, all at once. Many of the patients develop vomiting and diarrhea (all side effects of the drugs), in two documented cases, the patients died of intestinal ruptures (again medication induced) all the symptoms and deaths are then reported as flu deaths when in fact, the complications were caused by the very drugs the patients were "treated' with by their doctors.

In one case of a child "dying of flu" he was on the above deadly cocktail of drugs and died from an intestinal rupture. The around the clock ipuprofen, steroids, tamiflu, acid blockers and antibiotics are all known to contribute and in the cases of ibuprofen and tamiflu, cause intestinal bleeds. His story was used as a public service announcement for the state of New York to scare parents into giving their children the flu vaccine.

If you noticed, in the beginning of this article, I mentioned the last big year for a major "flu" season. It was the 2001-2002 season, 11 yrs ago. This happens to be a pattern which is correlated to solar flare cycles which peak every 11 years and reduce the available UVB on earth, thus leading to lowered vitamin D conversion during the summer leading to depletion by the later fall. It is no coincidence bad flu seasons typically occur the winters after the peak of solar flares. The season for upper respiratory infections start earlier and hit harder due to less than normal vitamin D levels.

Studies show
the relationship between low levels of Vitamin D with upper respiratory infections, including influenza. There has yet to be independent studies showing the effectiveness of flu vaccine against upper respiratory infections.

This Winter's "flu" season

January 14, 2013

While this season has been particularly bad for viral illnesses, not all viral illnesses with fever are actually influenza.

In a typical year, only about 7% of those labelled as having flu, actually have influenza. This year could be a very different percentage. we won't know until the "flu" season is over. I would not be surprised if it was much higher than the 7%. However, we have, so far, as many confirmed cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) as we have confirmed cases of influenza in much of the east coast states with the most reported flu cases. So far, approximately one quarter of those tested are positive for influenza.

All cases of upper respiratory infections associated with fever is reported as flu to the authorities. Most centers do not bother to do the nasal swab to test as to whether it is actual influenza. All hospitalizations and deaths due to any respiratory illness whether it is bacterial pneumonia, RSV, or other pathogen is recorded as due to flu.

The true numbers are posted on CDC web pages and are looked at state by state.
The CDC maintains that children are the main hosts and transmitters of influenza. Hence, the statewide mandate for the past several years in New Jersey for all preschool and school age children, annually.

If we look at the reported and documented numbers of flu in New Jersey in any given year, it is on par with all the states in it's designated CDC region. This year is no different. NJ has some of the highest flu rates in the east and is no different than the others in it's region yet, it has been vaccinating it's children for years.

While I am not surprised at the data, I think many are. We all want an easy fix, we all want a simple vaccine to spare us from the flu, we want it so badly, we are willing to ignore science and statistics. But to what end? All vaccines come with a risk. They are all legally listed as "unavoidably unsafe" and, whenever we take a healthy person and perform a procedure that comes with any risk, we better be sure the benefit is worth the risk. In this case, it isn't. Every year the vaccine court awards families who have either lost loved ones to the vaccine or suffered permanent neurological damage. So, if there is no proven positive effect showing lowered rates of the flu, ethically, losing even one person to the vaccine is not tolerable.

The flu vaccine has never been proven in any study to prevent flu. The term thrown around is a number, some percentage of its efficacy. Efficacy is not effectiveness. Vaccines are the only product the FDA approves and allows to make effectiveness claims without having to prove effectiveness. They only have to show efficacy or antibody response rate.

It has never been shown that an antibody response to flu is protective. In fact, many viruses are fought with the "innate" immune system. This system has much more to do with NK cells
as opposed to the induced immune system which uses memory antibodies. To date, we have studies showing the innate immune system being induced to fight influenza and elucidating the importance of the innate immunity over the induced (antibody) system as the first line of defense in respiratory viral infections including influenza

If the innate immune system is actually the gate keeper for the upper respiratory tract and viral infections, it would seem improving this system would make more sense than anything else. As of now, all we have is adequate vitamin D levels to maintain an alert and healthy innate system and this is not a patentable item. Therefore, no one entity is going to spread this news around. There has been some very decent research involving compounds that also work very well but they are not yet commercially available.

While the CDC website cites studies looking at effectiveness using a placebo group, and they say, in parenthesis, saline injections, this is not ever the case.
The only flu vaccine study that showed a positive outcome for the flu vaccine used a placebo which was a combination of three different vaccines. The outcomes were measured by how many hours each group reported having fever in a a prescribed period of time. Nowhere was influenza ever documented nor were patients examined, the placebo group had approximately 10 hours more of fever for this time period than the flu vaccine recipients. For any trained pediatric nurse, pediatrician or plain old parent, we know that children receiving three vaccines or more at once are expected to mount a febrile response. In fact, studies have shown the febrile response is necessary for any possible immunity. So why was the placebo group given a a tripple dose vaccine while the test recipients only received a flu vaccine? why weren't patients examined once they had a reported fever? This is a poorly designed study from the start which was intentionally set up to see some fever in the placebo group. And, yes, it was supported by drug company money.

What I can recommend for this season of viral illnesses is be sure you are taking approximately 50,000 IUs of vitamin D weekly for the average slim adult and up to 70,000 weekly for bigger adults. Children need their dose titrated from 50,000 for an adult weighing at around 130 lbs.

Many of my colleagues and I have commented on the common homeopathic remedies that have helped. Early on with the aches and pains, eupatorium perfolatum, severe chest pain and having to sit up to not cough or bring up mucous, bryonia. spastic coughing, headache, irritability and gagging with cough has responded well to nux vomica.

In my office I have had amazing success with a SUJOK activation method with a SCENAR device which knocks out the headache, body pains and sore throat, if performed early on.

There is no replacement for adequate rest, sleep and fluids. And, I highly recommend inducing a temporary fever to jump start the immune system by sitting in a hot bath and drinking hot liquid with either chilli, ginger or some other warming herb. Once sweating and body temperature is elevated, it's time to bundle up and get under the covers for a long night of sleep. If difficulty breathing is ever an issue, a visit to the ER or urgent care is required

A spastic cough is what has been lingering for many past the initial febrile phase. It is annoying and can respond to remedies but remember, it's annoying and is in the upper respiratory tract, the bronchus. It is a spasm and not life threatening. Bronchospasm is dangerous for small infants but in larger children and adults it is an annoyance and induced by our response to a virus or irritant. The bronchospasm is expressed by spastic coughing it can be induced by our immune system in response to an infection. Studies have shown it to be related to increased parasympathetic response in the bronchus due to the sensory fibers. Because the bronchospasm can be due to autonomic dysfunction, it can be affected by a scenar treatment for the bronchus.

RSV, influenza and most winter viruses can stimulate a spastic cough that lingers. Antibiotics will not touch this. A productive cough and pain in the chest deserves an exam with a stethescope to be sure there is no pneumonia which does need to be treated with antibiotics. But remember, spastic coughing for a few weeks is the norm and the biggest mistake I see is patients prescribed one round of antibiotics after another, to no avail. An inhaler would make more sense, possibly even a short course of steroids once over the infection phase but antibiotics will never touch viral induced bronchospasm.


Comfort Food, Gluten Free and Vegan Style

December 6, 2012

So many patients ask for my recipes and not everyone can make it to my cooking classes.
For an easy holiday meal that feels like cozy comfort food I'm sharing my favorite quinoa-lentil dish.

This dish, a one pot, meal wonder, is a super easy and really yummy dish without being high glycemic or un-healthy in any way.

I recommend using a rice cooker to make the whole thing at once. If you don't have a rice cooker, you an use a crock pot.

I have a large automated rice cooker that is anodized metal and non aluminum. I can't recommend this appliance enough, I make all my quinoas, lentils, beans and rices in it.

I start with a cup of quinoa of any variety, I add 1/2 cup of lentils (brown for more texture, red for more mushiness) and 3 cups water. I then add two heaping tablespoons of coconut oil, one to two tablespoons of high quality curry powder, like Vaduavan and salt.

I chop two Thai eggplants, one large onion and two carrots in to chunks and add them into the pot as well. I then add one tablespoon of coconut palm sugar (this is optional but cuts the bitterness of the eggplant).

I allow this to cook until the device turns itself off and I serve hot with a large bed of fresh raw salad greens. If a contrast in texture is desired, try throwing some walnut halves into the dish once it's cooked.

It's savory, rich and filling without being heavy.

Please post how you like it once you've made it.

You're Not Really Crazy, It's Just That Unopposed Estrogen

November 30, 2012

I have been treating women for hormone disturbance in my Chicago area office for almost 20 years. I was prescribing bio-identical hormones way back then. Giving grand rounds at various Chicago area hospitals on the subject, often taking loads of flack by the OB-GYNs who would attend.

Of course, that was then. Now, the OB-GYNs have jumped on the band wagon. It seems whatever those of us are doing in the natural, integrative medicine world, eventually makes it's way into the mainstream 15 years or so, later.

What the mainstream physicians are still behind on, is the need for hormone balancing and the concept that peri and menopausal symptoms aren't always due to low estrogen levels. Often, they're due to unopposed estrogen levels.

Progesterone balances estrogen and it is progesterone that diminishes first, while our cycles become anovulatory. In addition, the brain has many times more receptors for progesterone than estrogen. And, progesterone is the best tranquilizer we have. It is the addition of progesterone that often prompts my patients to call me just to say "thank you for saving my life". Please note, bio-identical progesterone should not be taken orally, it needs to bypass the liver. A sublingual lozenge is the preferred method when taking it to affect sleep.

So while your OB-GYN might be prescribing you bio-identical estrogen, she probably isn't giving you bio-identical progesterone. Synthetic progesterone is completely different from a chemical structural point of view and is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.While bio-identical isn't.

I often find that my patients actually don't need the estrogen at all. Aside from analyzing the symptoms, I look at hormone levels along with their metabolites. Hormones are all metabolized into other hormone structures and how well one's liver works and what bowel flora is at play are both extremely important in the function of how your body breaks down hormones. Without testing for levels of hormones and their metabolites, there is no certainty that a build up of an undesired substance is not occurring. In some cases, the prescribed hormones can be metabolized into androgens or more estrogen. It is very important to clean up metabolic pathways that may be overly stressed from diet or medications.

In the old days (1990-2005), most OB-GYNs didn't test hormones at all. Now, they often will test for E2, or estradiol and perhaps testosterone, but, they don't often follow up after prescribing hormones. It is vital to follow up with levels when taking any exogenous (outside) source of hormones as doing so, shuts down one's own production and sets in motion metabolic pathways that need monitoring.

So while you might be feeling crazy, it might be a simple imbalance which has an easy and safe fix but be sure that someone is following the effect in your body as you may be throwing yourself out of balance even more, or worse.

Filling with blunt tipped cannulas

November 26, 2012

Every now and then, I write about facial rejeuvenation techniques such as liquid facelifts, something that sets me apart from the average "filler".

What I'd like to write about today is the use of blunt tipped cannulas for facial filling. While this sounds technical (it is ), it can make a world of difference between someone who leaves the office with downtime and someone who doesn't.

By using a blunt tipped cannula, the risk of breaking blood vessels is diminished, so is the risk of bruising nerves. It allows the physician to make one needle insertion and use the cannula all over the face with the one insertion on either side. It also allows for a pain free experience.

Why most doctors are not using this, is the same reason most doctors are still filling smile lines and wrinkles in place of liquid lifts; patients need to come back more often if just the lines are filled because the filler is placed into an area of motion and won't last. The patient needs to come back every 6 months or so as opposed to every two years. The wrinkle fill type of procedure also gives patients that semi simian, obviously filled upper lip area, and somewhat distorted features.

The real benefit to a cannula over needle is less bruising and ease of filling deep below muscular structures, safely. Lifting the cheeks, adding padding back into the tear ducts and defining the jaw are all procedures made painless and easy with this technique.

Patients appreciate a painless procedure and they really appreciate not having the bruising that sometimes comes with fillers.

Next time you're thinking about a "little work", figure in the safety and downtime associated with it. You might just do better with a more refined technique.