Food and Drink

Sugar and Cancer

Just recently there has been some new information regarding sugar and cancer.  It is a well known fact that cancer cells love sugar; they actually thrive on it.  Hence, cancer cells show up so clearly on a CT scan, which includes putting a type of sugary solution in your body. 

Therefore, I have always understood that we need to avoid all types of sugar, of course the kind in cookies, cakes, pies, candy, etc.; but also to avoid having too many fruits because of the sugar.  This always puzzled me because I once heard of someone who cured her cancer by juicing only the purple grapes. Also carrot juice is high in sugar and beneficial for cancer patients.

Dr. Tony Jimenez, M.D., the Medical Director of the Hope 4 Cancer Institute in Tijuana, Mexico, along with a scientist from India who works with him at his clinic have discovered that fruit of any kind, as well as carrots and beets, does not feed cancer, in spite of the sugar they contain.  This is because the fructose (one form of sugar) in these foods is a "left-spinning" molecule.  That's what the lower-case "l" in front of the fructose means.  Cancer feeds on "right-spinning" molecules of sugar -- glucose, sucrose, etc.  Dr. Jimenez says that even honey, syrup and molasses that is unadulterated is quite healthy for cancer patients.  

So this is good news for those of us who do like something sweet.

This information was found on Bill Henderson's website

Also, is another site that talks about eating fruit


The Wonders of Coconut Oil

Did you know that 30 % of our daily nutritional intake should be made up of fats or oil?   Many of you probably know the benefits of olive oil; however, you should not really cook with it.  So, along comes coconut oil.  After receiving such a bad rap for years, it is now proving to be one of the healthiest oils you can consume and a very good one to cook with.  It is such a great oil to cook with because of it's high burning properties.

A while back I wrote about liking my butter; but it is high in saturated fat.  Coconut oil is also high in saturated fat.  Saturated fat is bad for you, right?  Yes and no. Current research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike.  Saturated fat is a vital ingredient for a healthy body. The saturated fat in coconut oil is good for your health; while the saturated fat in butter is not good for you and should be avoided or at the very least used in moderation.  What makes the difference?  Coconut oil is unique in its structural make-up.  It is not only the highest source of saturated  fats (92%); but, included in this,is the highest source of saturated Medium Chain Triglycerides 62%) of any naturally occurring vegan food source.  Furthermore around 50% of these MCT’s are made up of lauric acid, the most important   essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system.

 Research shows that cooking with coconut oil generally creates a more favorable HDL/LDL ratio.  This oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties  and, like all whole foods, contains nutrients for a healthy body.  Apart from coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid found in such high concentrations is in mother’s milk.  Tropical oils and mother’s milk are by far the richest food sources of medium chain fatty acids.  The closest other source of these vital building blocks for our immune  system would be milk fat and coconut-butter comprising around 3% of its content. Any other vegetable oil is completely deficient in these medium chain fatty acids.  It should also be remembered that the negative research done on coconut oil in the past was the result of one study conducted four decades ago, using  hydrogenated oil (which has been processed and altered from its original form), not on virgin coconut oil.  Research shows that some saturated fat is in fact necessary for human health and modern research shows that the medium chain fatty acids help to increase metabolism and are more easily  digested than fats found in other oils. This is because they are processed directly in the liver and immediately converted into energy. There is therefore less strain on the liver, pancreas and digestive system and these MCFA provide the body with a wonderful, quick source of energy.  This wonder oil is truly the healthiest oil you  can consume. Being rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, coconut oil is  also classified as “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.  Some of its uses are for cosmetics and skin treatment.  Virgin  coconut oil is a natural healing oil and doesn’t remain in the blood  stream as other fats do‚ instead, it goes directly to the liver where it  is converted into energy.  It also enhances the boy's absorption of calcium and magnesium, elements that are crucial to healthy bones.

 It has no trans-fat that it helps to  promote normal platelet function and is very much recommended for those  who have heart disease. To keep our bones healthy and strong, we must ensure adequate nutrients  are absorbed within our bodies. Medium chain fatty acids assist the body with this process.   Virgin coconut oil contains fat, but has fewer calories than other fats  and does not cause the related weight gain that others do. The potential for weight gain from the consumption of virgin coconut oil is equivalent to that of  protein‚ something we consume regularly with no repercussions. Virgin coconut oil is a natural healing oil and doesn’t remain in the blood  stream as other fats do‚ instead, it goes directly to the liver where it  is converted into energy.

In fact, I have a jar in my bathroom as well as in my kitchen.  Why do I keep some in my bathroom?  Well, it is a wonderfully rich skin care oil that is readily  absorbed into the skin.  It helps to  reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Coconut oil will aid in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin  smoother.  Let me say from experience that you should use just a small amount.  A little goes a long way; besides if I put on too much, Chloe will lick it off. She loves the stuff and actually, it's good for her too!

Now, coconut oil does add a different flavour to foods.  In my opinion it is very good for cooking pancakes.  It is also delicious dribbled over popcorn and adding cinnamon.  Yum!  I have to admit Wynn doesn't like it, although my daughter, Tricia, does.  So give it a try; you might just like it. :)

I hope this post has not been too wordy for you.  I found it fascinating when I read about it. 

By the way, you can buy unflavoured coconut oil.


Cooking With Fats!

Do you know what are the best fats to cook with?  It is very important that the fat you use has a very high "smoking point".  The smoking point is the point at which the fat turns rancid.  The higher the smoking point, the better.  When you heat a fat, that has a low smoking point, it turns into trans-fats. I don't know about you but I don't want trans-fats making up the fat around my cells.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the fats that we cook with beginning with the three worst fats to use for cooking.  I am sure that the first one is no surprise and that is margarine.  The second one is extra virgin olive oil.  This, frankly, was a surprise to me, when I first read it.  But it turns out that as it's from the first press of the olives, it's "smoking point" is extremely low.  It is best used in salads.  The third fat is vegetable oils.  Besides being highly processed, they are also high in omega 6 fats, which most people already have enough of.  This is significant to know because too much omega 6 in the cell membrane creates inflammation.  Research has shown that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer for example.

So what are the best fats to cook with?   Coconut oil is, in my opinion, the best fat to cook with because it has a very high smoking point. "Pure" olive oil is second best, if you don't like the flavour of the coconut oil, which my husband doesn't particularly care for.  Pure olive oil has a medium to high smoking point.  As it is from the 3rd and sometimes 4th press, it is a much more stable fat and doesn't break down as fast or easy as extra virgin olive oil.  Be sure to keep the cooking temperature at a medium range.  The third best fat is organic butter which has a medium smoking point.  If the butter is from grassfed cows, you get a lot of healthy omega 3's as well as an essential fat called CLA.  All three of these cooking fats support healthy cells.

The above information has been gleaned from books and articles that I have read on my journey to good health.

Bon appetit!




6 Ingredients You May Not Want In Your Food

6 Ingredients You May Not Want In Your Food

By: Food Republic, Huffington Post

Garden burgers. Power bars. Protein brownies. Bottled water that makes you thin, young and smart. And we used to wonder what they put in Pop Rocks...

These days it's hard for even die-hard foodies to know what they're eating or drinking. That's because food has changed from something that didn't need a modifier -- if it walked, swam, flew or grew out of the ground, it was food -- to something that stopped off at Mr. Burns' nuclear plant on the way to your plate.

Let's call it "foodiness." Like Stephen Colbert's truthiness, which wasn't about truth, we're not consuming food as much as we're consuming an edible manufactured doppelganger designed to look and taste like food, but isn't actually food: like veggie puffs with no vegetables; fruit bars with no fruit; like goldfish crackers with no goldfish.

And now, below, a look at some typical foodiness ingredients that are packaged, flavored and presented as food.

1. TBHQ, A.K.A: Butane

  Turns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets. Try homemade chicken wings instead, for fuel-free food. 

Found in:
Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.

2. Estrogen

  Regular milk is full of hormones used by the milk industry to keep the cows knocked up and lactating all year round. Sound gross? It is. So when you drink regular milk you take a shot of hormones with it. And all you wanted was a bowl of cereal. 

Found in:
All non-organic dairy, so organic is recommended.

3. Spinach Dust

 Think that green sheen on your veggie snacks is giving you your daily serving of vegetables? Think again. That's just powdered spinach dust, which is spinach that has been dehydrated and sucked dry of its nutritional value. So the upshot is that green sheen is about as nutritious as actual dust.

Found in: "Healthier" vegetable flavored snack foods.

4. Propylene Glycol, A.K.A: antifreeze 

Antifreeze is used in cars, pills, cosmetics, deodorant, moisturizer... And, in a way, food! It keeps your car from freezing over, your moisturizer moist, and your fat-free cookie dough ice cream creamy, smooth and juicy. If it's good enough for your SUV it's good enough to eat, right? Right?? Right???

Found in: Cake mix, salad dressings, low-fat ice creams and dog food.

5. Wood Pulp: Vanillin 

Vanillin, which is a byproduct of the pulp industry, is used as an artificial vanilla flavor. Ester of wood resin, which comes from pine stumps, is in citrus-flavored sodas to keep the citrus flavor evenly distributed through the can

Found in: Artificially flavored yogurt, baked goods, candy and sodas

6. Castoreum

Castoreum comes out of a beaver's behind - it's extracted from their anal glands and is used to make artificial raspberry flavoring. Try not to think about that next time you order the diet raspberry tea.

Found in: Artificially raspberry flavored products such as cheap ice cream, Jell-O, candy, fruit-flavored drinks, teas and yogurts.



Parsley looks nice as a garnish on the side of your plate.  But, have you ever wondered about the benefits of parsley?   For one, it supposedly helps to freshen your breath.  But did you know that parsley provides plenty of antioxidant power.  Further, and more importantly, parsley contains volatile oil components that have been shown to inhibit tumor formation, partiularly in the lungs.  You can read more at - an article about parsley juice and lung cancer.  The research from the University of Missouri also claims that parsley is an important food to digest if you have breast cancer.

Having said that, I have included a couple of recipes to help you consume more parsley.  The first one I found was called 

The Body Can Heal Itself Juice
5 Carrots
4 Handfuls of Fresh Spinach
1 Handful of Fresh Parsley
4 Sticks of Celery

Juice all ingredients and serve.

This recipe is taken from the The Diva's Guide to Juices and Cocktails available from The Raw Diva Store.

Another recipe I found was from Kalyn's Kitchen

Carrot and Parsley Salad

6 medium sized carrots, peeled, then grated
1 bunch parsley, chopped fine (about 1 cup chopped parsley)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Peel carrots, then grate coarsely, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater. Wash parsley, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then chop finely with food process or chef's knife. Put carrots and parsley in mixing bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, then mix into salad. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I barely used any salt). Serve immediately.
This recipe has been adapted from Bistro Carrot Salad in Jack Bishop's book Vegetables Every Day.

Eating Right?

Well, I have been here (in Ontario) for almost a month now and I am gaining some weight.  Why is that you say?  I can only say that it is very difficult to eat properly, when you are visiting.  I keep it simple and eat mostly whole foods when I am at home.  I shop daily, make green smoothies and eat lots of salads.  That is not always an option when you are a guest at someone's home.  Wynn and I have been visiting lots of family and friends and thoroughly enjoying ourselves.  But it seems that everyone loves to serve special treats and they are ending up around my middle.  Help!  I don't seem to have the will power to say "No, thanks!"  The problem is that I do like sweets.  At home, I don't buy or even make sweets; but here, they are readily available.  Not only that, I have even been eating potato chips.  I would never eat them at home.  And it isn't because I am hungry.  What gives!  Why am I concerned?  And why do I feel guilty? 

It is because I know that what we eat has everything to do with our health.  When I found out that I had lymphoma cancer, my research convinced me to become a vegan.  I was overjoyed after a 2nd CT scan, 6 mos. later, showed that the tumors were beginning to shrink.  I also feel guilty because I know that I do the same thing when people come to visit me.  I make special desserts and offer more food than I would normally eat at any given meal.

What is it about food, that when people get together, it becomes the focal point?  In addition, aren't we all just a little guilty of overeating when we get together?  If anyone out there has any thoughts about this, I would like to hear them.


Eating Raw

As mentioned before, I just finished reading one of David Wolfe's books,entitled Superfoods.  Well, tonight, I found out that he is going to be in Victoria.  So I have signed up to go and see him.  Who is he?  you might ask.  David Wolfe is a nutritionist’s nutritionist. He is unsurpassed in his knowledge of raw foods, superfoods, herbs, and chocolate.  David is a raw foodist and as this is a dinner meeting, the food will be all raw.  I have tried eating all raw food before.  It is fairly easy to accomplish in the summer, when vegetables and fruits are very fresh and readily available.  Also, it is the warmest time of the year and salads are welcome.  During the winter months, when it is very cold, I have trouble avoiding the warm comfort foods, especially homemade soups. 

However, the one thing I have noticed about eating raw is that I feel well.  I have more energy and clarity of thinking, (fewer senior moments as I like to call them).  But seriously, I do feel different.  I highly recommend you give it a try for a month or so.  You may experience a real cleansing when you begin to eat this way; some people experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as nausea or diarhea, but whatever you experience it will be temporary.  Your body will thank you; your cells will be nourished. 

How does one eat raw?   As I mentioned salads are an easy way and most welcome in the warmer weather.  Green smoothies are another way to consume whole foods in a raw state.  By that I mean having a base of a green vegetable or two, such as kale, spinach, parsley, romaine, cilantro, etc.  I prefer spinach.  Then you add just enough water to blend it into a liquid.  Next add, your fruits, banana is always a good choice, followed by any other type of fruit that you like.  Mango is an excellent choice.  I like to use frozen fruit and then you do not need to use any ice.   You can add protein powders if you like and/or any of the superfoods, like goji berries, maca powder, hemp hearts, chia seeds, spirulina, chlorella, etc.  Did you know that oatmeal, mixed with ground nuts, (I prefer almonds), pumpkin seeds and a little maple syrup to hold it together, makes a delightful little snack.  It is very nutritious and helps satisfy a sweet tooth.  You can shred squash like spaghetti and put a nice sauce on it.  You can make a lovely chocolate pudding with avoado, banana, cacao powder, maple syrup and little bit of orange juice to mix it together.

If you have any type of serious health challenge, this way of eating might be just what you need to do to regain your health.  There are many raw food books out there and lots of raw food sites to help you get started. 

I think it's about time that I started eating more raw food again.  Spring is here and warmer weather will be here soon, I hope!


I have just finished reading a book by David Wolfe that talks about the 10 best superfoods.  I thought the list might include such foods as broccoli, spinach, blueberries, fish, etc.  But I was surprised to learn that none of those foods were included.  Instead he spoke about maca, chia seeds, goji berries, hemp hearts and cacao nibs, to name a few.  Frankly, I had not heard of them, let alone try them.  So I started researching a little and I couldn't believe the nutrients that some of these foods contain.  Also included in the list were spirulina, chlorella, coconut and honey, especially bee pollen and royal jelly. 

Presently, I do eat many different foods that I know to contain a good source of nutrients.  Foods like quinoa, miso, kamut and spelt have graced my table for years. I try to eat whole foods and avoid processed food as much as possible.  But as I have begun to add some of the superfoods above, I have noticed a big difference in my energy level, and I find I don't get hungry in between meals.  As a bonus I have noticed less stiffness all over and less joint pain. I can only think that my body is receiving nutrients that it has been missing for a while.



Eating Fish

My husband loves going out to eat fish and chips.  I am always concerned about the deep fried batter, etc. not to mention the chips.  Lately, we have been asking to have our fish grilled; but unfortunately, fish and chip places, (at least the one we visited last night) do not grill the fish, but rather poach it.  It just isn't the same, actually it's not very tasty to my thinking. 

Anyway, I was reading Dr. Gabe Mirkin's blog about fish and found it to be very interesting. I am sharing it with you in it's entirety.

Fish - Yes; Fried Fish - No

     Eating oily fish, like salmon, herring or mackerel, twice a week helps to prevent heart attacks and strokes.  Eating oily fish more often than twice a week has not been shown to be any more protective.  On the other hand, eating fried fish may increase risk of stroke (Neurology, published online December 22, 2010).
        The most popular fried fish are frozen fish sticks, fast-food fish sandwiches and other inexpensive fish products.  Most of these are made with farmed tilapia or catfish that are not good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  We don't know whether this is the reason that fried fish are linked with increased risk of strokes, or whether the unhealthful cooking method cancels out the benefits of any fish. 
     Polyunsaturated fats in fish are classified by their structure into omega-3s and omega-6s.  Omega-3s form prostaglandins that help prevent inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes.  Omega-6s have not been shown to prevent heart attacks and strokes.  The fish that are rich sources of omega-3s are those that eat plankton or other fish that have eaten plankton.  Almost all deep water fish are rich in the healthful omega-3s. 
     Of the four most commonly farmed fish (Atlantic salmon, trout, tilapia, and catfish) only trout and Atlantic salmon contain relatively high amounts of omega-3s.  In contrast, tilapia (the fastest-growing and most widely-farmed fish) and catfish have much lower concentrations of omega-3s, and their fatty acids are the same as chicken (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2008 and December 2008)
     Whether or not a farmed fish contains omega-3s depends on what the fish are fed.  Catfish and tilapia can thrive on corn.  Since corn is cheaper than fish meal, they are usually fed omega-6 -rich corn, instead of omega-3 -rich fish meal, and they have insignificant amounts of omega-3 fats in their bodies.  However, salmon and most other farmed fish cannot live on just corn, so they must be fed fish meal that is loaded with omega-3s.  All salmon (farmed and wild-caught) are high in omega-3s. 

You can read about health and lots more from Dr. Mirkin on his website at  


I love to eat all kinds of nuts and yes, nuts are good for you.  While it is true that nuts are very high in calories, of which 80 percent comes from fat, nuts are nutrient dense!  They contain essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, which are essential for good health.  The type of fat in nuts is mostly unsaturated fat, especially monounsaturated fat, which does not raise blood cholesterol levels, like saturated fats.  Actually, monounsaturated fats do have the benefit of raising the good cholesterol but lowering the bad cholesterol, including triglycerides.  According to a review of 25 studies, just eating approximately 2-3 ounces of nuts per day (including peanuts, which are actually legumes) lowers the total cholesterol to help prevent heart attacks.  This info is from the Archives of Internal Medicine, May 10, 2010. 

Nuts also provide one of the best natural sources of vitamin E, and are rich in protein, dietary fiber, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and folate.  Amazing!

In addition, to lowering cholesterol, nuts may be helpful in controlling high blood pressure.  The DASH diet, to help control blood pressure, recommends 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds and dried beans per week.

If you are keeping track of what you eat, portion sizes and calories, etc., here's an interesting fact - 1/3 cup of nuts is equal to approx. one ounce of meat.

In conclusion, do not shy away from nuts.  Like anything else, eat them in moderation.  Who knows, because nuts are so filling, you may find your intake of other foods to be less.  So go nuts!