Monday, July 30, 2012

Mark Martell: Raw Vegan Bodybuilder--Yet Another Amazing Transformation

Please visit my new website to see this interview:

Cancer and the Healing Benefits of Massage

I wrote a blog about the power of touch in this article and a reader of my blog, Melanie Bowen, contacted me regarding an article she wrote on the healing benefits of massage therapy for cancer patients.

I will share the article she wrote below as it makes all kinds of sense. In a class for my Natural Hygiene degree, we studied work that Norman Cousens did on psychoimmunoneurology, better known as the mind/body connection on how stress affects our immune system.

Powerful healing chemicals are released when we are calm and feel safe and serene. Massage is one proven way of relaxing and as we learned via previous posts I did on the electro-magnetic energy field of the heart, one person's heart waves can be transmitted to another person via touch and we can affect the brain and heart waves of another. We've all seen the calming effects a mother's caress can have on a crying child.

I do believe healing of cancer is a total solution of a plant-based diet (please read The China Study), preferrably raw, and stress management techniques such as breathing, support groups and other healing therapies such as massage. See the blog post I did interviewing Chad Venucci, who healed his stage 4 brain cancer with a raw plant based diet.

Please share this article as you see fit, and even incorporate massage into your life even if you don't have cancer now, as a treat to yourself and a preventative measure:

Massage Therapy Increases Quality of Life During Cancer Treatment

Massage as a therapeutic form of touch appears in nearly every culture and dates
back to prehistoric times. Western medicine has been slow to validate the claims of
benefits resulting from massage therapy, but these benefits are routinely showed in
peer-reviewed studies. Researchers reviewed 37 studies of massage therapy and
found the greatest effects were on depression and anxiety. Specifically the results of
massage therapy for these conditions were on par with results from psychotherapy.

A diagnosis of cancer often occurs before the person manifests symptoms. The
diagnosis is the trigger for symptoms of anxiety and depression, both of which are
made worse by the damaging effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and/or hormone
therapy. Emotional stability is a critical factor in quality of life making it a central
consideration in cancer treatment.

Cascading Effects of Emotional Well-being

Mental status was once thought separate from physical health concerns, but this
conception has changed radically in the past 30 years. Meditation studies
consistently show dramatic changes in brain function and other benefits down to the
chromosomal level. Mood and outlook on life are tightly interwoven with all
physiological processes.

The best example uncovered by research so far is the effect of anxiety on hormone
production. Anxiety is a chronic expression of the fight-or-flight response, and it
triggers the same inflammatory hormone pathways. With corresponding activity, the
fight or flight that is comparable to exercise, there is no anti-inflammatory counter-
production. This causes problems with healing, toxin removal, and damage to the
circulatory system.

Emotional stability on the other hand increases an individual's ability to tolerate
stress of all kinds. Massage therapy supports stability and hence the production of
anti-inflammatory hormones. This extends to the experience of pain. In the study
cited above, researchers found consistent evidence that pain assessments were
lower among massage groups versus the controls.

Specific Cancer Applications

The benefits make massage therapy exceptionally well-suited to cancer treatment.
One of the newest complimentary treatments supported by every leading research
organization is exercise. Whether the cancer is mesothelioma or childhood
leukemia, experts recommend exercise be used under the care of a licensed
physical therapist. The trouble is that many patients drop out of exercise programs
due to pain and fatigue. Massage therapy is a good choice in conjunction with an
exercise program.

Side Effects of Massage Therapy

Few side effects are noted, but they are important. The doctor often delays patients
from participation in massage therapy after the initial diagnosis. An initial diagnosis

is often incomplete, and the doctor needs to know where the cancer is, the size of
tumors, and the likelihood of damage from touch. This information must be relayed
to the massage therapist to prevent side effects.

Massage therapy offers a unique way for every patient to maintain mental health
and physical well-being. Some studies suggest it is even more effective when used
with breath meditation. Alternative treatments are becoming more mainstream, but
it is still crucial for patients to consult with their doctor before engaging in alternative

You can read more of Melody's articles on her blogs:

or visit her webpage at:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

High Blood Sugar

So since my last post, I have been experimenting with all raw again. I have been eating a head of romaine lettuce a day, one full head of cauliflower, grape tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, parsley and lemon in a raw "tabouli" and a container of blueberries daily.

I feel great. Stable energy. No cravings. No Raynaud's. No problems. No female pain. Clear skin.

So I did a little Google search online for "high blood sugar" since the way I am eating is specifically focused on being low-glycemic. I found some VERY interesting things. Especially with regards to my body's response to high-glycemic fruits like bananas, dates and watermelon and my endometriosis and Raynaud's:

Why do some women grow mustaches while some men grow breasts and start crying at movies? You may be surprised to know these embarrassing traits are typical high blood sugar symptoms.
High blood sugar is caused by a diet high in sweets, soda, and starches (breads, pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, etc.) This diet consistently raises blood sugar levels, which in turn requires the body to secrete high levels of insulin to lower blood sugar. Eventually these insulin surges exhaust the body’s cells and they refuse entry to insulin. This is called “insulin resistance” and it triggers enzymes that cause men to overproduce estrogen, a female hormone, and women to overproduce testosterone, a male hormone, both of which are high blood sugar symptoms. As a result, the body and brain of men and women take on characteristics of the opposite sex. Women experience hair loss, more facial hair, a deepening voice, and may develop PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Men grow “breasts” (Gynecomastia) and find themselves crying more easily.
Do you feel sleepy after eating?
These hormonal trends can be reversed through nutritional therapy, exercise, and other factors. A handy tip: If you feel sleepy or crave sugar after a meal, you ate too many starchy foods. If you feel sleepy after a low-carb meal, you may need specific support for insulin resistance to address hormonal imbalances:

High Blood Sugar Symptoms:
How do you know if you have high blood sugar symptoms? See if any of the symptoms below describe you:
  • Fasting blood sugar over 100 mg/dl
  • Fatigue after meals
  • Crave sugar after meals
  • Constant hunger
  • Excess belly fat, or a waist girth that is equal to or larger than hip girth
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Prone to insomnia
  • Don’t feel rested after eight hours of sleep
  • Women grow facial hair; experience thinning hair
  • Men grow “breasts”
  • PCOS in women
  • Hormonal imbalances in both sexes
And I also found this as well:

But if the blood sugar goes very high then lets say over 200 or so, then it can cause symptoms and the classic symptoms would be increased thirst, increased urination, general fatigue, vaginal infections in women, and even blurred vision can occur from the high blood sugar.
These symptoms, as I say, may not occur, or they may occur in any combination, but what's causing them is that the sugar is thickening the blood, so it's really like taking maple syrup and pouring maple syrup into a glass of water. If you do that after a while, the water gets thicker and thicker, and in the bloodstream, the brain then reads that as the blood's too thick, I need to drink in order to dilute back out the blood, and when I drink and I drink, sometime people with diabetes drink gallons of water in a day, when drink and I drink, I have to put it somewhere, and where I put it is to urinate it out. That's not really solving the problem, it's not really curing the diabetes in any way or treating it, but thirst and urination is the classic symptom of diabetes and indicates that you do need help

Hmmmm. Thickening of the blood? That could definitely cause lack of circulation to the extremities....isn't this why most vegans avoid animal foods is to avoid the clumping of red blood cells that cause heart attacks?

And increase in estrogen in women and men? Could that be what caused my endometriosis?

I find it interesting that starches are specifically mentioned.

I do find that potatoes and corn are big no-no's for me.

I also would put very sugary fruits in the same category. new raw diet is going to include lots of veggies, berries, stone fruits and I will experiment with some sprouted legumes when I get Annette Larkin's video in the mail. 

I still don't know what I think about nuts yet. I have them in moderation----EXTREME moderation.

But doing all veggies with some blueberries has worked out great for me so far......

The experiment continues......:)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Always Experimenting, Always Learning....

I haven't written in awhile.

For a lot of reasons.

Mainly, I have gone within to experiment and contemplate a lot...away from the critical questions and eyes of the find me and what works for me.

I have experimented with not eating fruit for awhile and wanted to give it some time until I shared how it's working with "everyone".

I love fruit. I do. It's so beautiful and tasty. I had some today and yesterday in fact, and it's the first I've had in a long time.

I don't exactly know where my relationship with fruit will end up in the end, if there really will be and end, but I do know that for now what is necessary is that I give it up totally to see what effect that has on my body.

What have I been eating instead?

Well, mainly brown rice, garbonzo beans (chickpeas) and lots of lettuces.

I am thinking about going back to raw, but mainly veggies and then sprout the garbonzo beans.

I had some donut peaches, blueberries and apricots these last two days. I felt the need for more variety and for something "sweet."

Why did I stop eating fruit?

Well, for one thing, I was sick and tired of being cold all the time and I noticed that high-sugar veggies and fruit would trigger my Raynaud's where my fingers turn numb and cold and dark blue or completely white. This would happen even in the summer time. I would  get it after drinking pineapple juice, sweet potato or carrot or beet juice. The only common denominator I could think of was sugar. So....the experiment to cut out these foods and eat higher protein foods and lower-sugar foods has yielded way less incidences of my Raynaud's.....

It also has yielded almost perfectly clear skin almost 100% of the time. No rosacea flares hardly ever.

And, my endometriosis cramps are WAY, way down (hardly existent) and my cravings for food are gone and so are my allergies....

So....I am experimenting with vegan foods that agree with me and adding things back slowly.

I still do no salt. I still do low-fat.

And, after reading the book Wheat Belly, I have resolved once and for all, to give up wheat for GOOD.

I went vegan several years ago after reading several of Dr. John McDougall's books. His "original" program recommended or condoned bagels, pasta, etc.

I didn't do well on his program.

Whenever I would "cheat" on vegan foods it was always with wheat: Indian food Paan bread, vegan cheeseless pizza, pasta with marinara sauce, bagels,, Subway's veggie delight sandwiches, etc.

I realize after reading this book that aside from the time that I was eating a fruit diet, I have hardly went a time in my whole life where I never ate wheat. I grew up on the stuff----Chef Boy R D's Raviolio's, Kraft's Mac and Cheese, Oreos, bread, Olive Garden, Pizza, you name it.

The book talks about the insulin resistance that dairy causes, but puts most of the fault flat square on Wheat's shoulder's.

It blamed skin rashes on wheat, cataracts on wheat, weight gain on wheat (along with corn tortillas, soda, and other high glycemic foods including bananas, figs, dates and raisins) and other things....

So I realize that I need to eat low-glycemic which is a challenge as a vegan. I realize, too, that there are probably a lot of people out there like me which is why a lot of people try vegan and then go back to eating meat or paleo or something because they have genuine problems.

There are a lot of vegan dishes and foods that are very high-glycemic because most vegan diets are based on carbs.

So that is why I am excited to be working on some interviews with some raw vegans who are not high-carb and who have aged really well and look beautiful.

I can't wait to bring their information to you.

I also am committed to my own growth and betterment and not some dogma. I realize I have lost "friends" due to this journey and that some are simply a tad upset.

I am not here to purposely offend anyone, I simply want to find what works best for ME.

As I continue on my journey, I also am reading some fascinating books on electro-magnetic field's affects on the body and healing, as well as people who say they can communicate with animals via "heart to heart" communication.

This last area is fascinating to me. I have an appointment tomorrow with a gal who practices empathy-based Non-violent communication skills, which I really want to hone in on. I also have been reading a lot on the electro-magnetic field that the  human heart gives off and how this can affect other's and even our own health.

I find all of this as fascinating, if not more fascinating, than diet itself as the mind/body connection is a powerful one that compliments perfectly a dietary regime that is healthful.

There simply is more to the equation than food and that is a FACT that should not be overlooked.

I also realize that "friends" come and go and when out with the old, the new comes in....and sometimes this is a necessary fact of life.

I'm okay with all of it. I love this journey I am on and it's always exciting, always new, always rewarding.

I am grateful for all I am learning and if some small part helps someone else on their own journey, then so much the better.

Where it will end is anyone's guess, but I suppose it really doesn't matter. :)