Spring Cleaning Never Felt So Good!

The stagnation and stillness of winter are passing and it’s time to get your blood moving again!

You are a mammal, and just like bears slow down and hibernate over winter, our metabolism also slows down during the cold months and starts to rev back up in spring.

It’s the perfect time to attune to nature and move the stagnation out of your body with exercise, saunas, steams and hot herbal baths and teas.

Here are a few easy steps to detoxify your body as Spring takes hold:   

1. Sweat!
Go for a brisk walk or run, or do some challenging yoga. Sweat it out!

2. Take a hot bath.
Add a cup or two of magnesium-rich epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil or put a few mint and chamomile tea bags in the bath and take a cleansing and relaxing soak.

3. Drink a cup or two of hot ginger root tea before you exercise or get into the bath. The naturally spicy oils will cause you to break into a cleansing sweat, clear your lungs, stimulate your digestion and your lungs while dialing down inflammation, all at the same time!

But don’t stop there. Do some spring cleaning at your home and office and get rid of toxic cleaning chemicals and old cans of paint or solvents. Clean out your closets and drawers and get rid of dust and mold in your environment.

Take Spring cleaning to a whole new level – revitalize your body and your environment!  

Lower Your Body Burden of Toxic Chemicals

Do a 14 Day Detox!

Our kit comes complete with instructions and all the ingredients you need to get going. This is a very easy and powerful process!

If you are not quite up to that, just eat light and clean.

For two weeks, eat all organic fruits and vegetables, a little olive and lemon, and a serving of healthy protein, such as beans, tofu, fish or chicken. Protein shakes are also a great way to get your protein while eating clean.

Take 1 Detox Packet twice daily for a month.  

You will have given your body a clean sweep. Consider doing it the whole season. Or once every season. That is what I do!

And if you need something really simple:

Take 1 cap Detox Antiox with each meal to support your body’s own natural capacity to remove toxins.

Always consult your healthcare provider first as detox nutrients can interfere with many medications.

Don’t miss this opportunity to clean the toxins out of your body and start fresh this spring!

By Dr Nalini Chilkov

Posted in Cancer Support, Chinese Medicine (TCM) | Leave a comment

Soy is a food that causes much confusion about whether or not it is safe to eat. Women are cautioned not to eat soy because of its effects on hormones and the thyroid gland. I would like to weigh in here, because just like everything else in nutrition and medicine, this is a personalized decision, and I will give you information to help you make the choice that is right for you.

First, let’s talk about soy and hormones…

Soy contains phytonutrients called isoflavones that are structurally similar to estrogen and bind to estrogen receptors, thus they are referred to as phytoestrogens. While this might suggest that soy is the same as estrogen in the body, it is not a hormone and, therefore, does not act in the body like the hormone estrogen. Instead, it is called a SERM: selective estrogen receptor modulator. The isoflavones in soy can bind as a blocker or a stimulator, depending on the tissue of the body, and therefore has both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity. This turns out to be good since it has stimulating effects where we want it, such as the bone, and blocking effects where we want it, such as the breast.


Soy isoflavones simulate the estrogen receptors in the bone and blood vessels, thus making it beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. It has also been found to have an anti-depressant effect; reduces hot flashes in menopausal women; and reduces LDL cholesterol.

What about cancer? The evidence is pretty clear that soy is protective. Here are some facts…

The incidence of breast and ovarian cancers in vegetarians is low, and studies have confirmed that a phytoestrogen-rich diet may offer protective benefits. While initial studies done on mice showed concern about stimulating growth of breast cancer, recent studies in humans show different results. Mice metabolize the soy differently and now we think the studies weren’t valid for humans. Epidemiological studies all show that soy reduces risk of breast cancer recurrence, and it is clear that soy does not stimulate breast tissue growth like conventional hormone replacement with estrogen.


Now that the concern about cancer is cleared up, the other issue to discuss is the thyroid and the type of soy food to choose.

First, let’s discuss thyroid. Soy is considered a goitrogen, which means that it can cause an enlarged thyroid and hypothyroidism by binding to iodine and preventing the thyroid from using it. This is much like kale and cruciferous vegetables as I talked about in a previous newsletter. This does not mean that you can’t eat soy as part of a regular, balanced diet. It just means that you need to make sure that you are eating food with iodine, using iodized salt, and making sure that your multi has iodine in it. This will ensure adequate iodine intake and prevent the soy from stealing all of it. I believe the goitrogenic effect of soy happens when there is also an iodine deficiency. I generally eat soy 2-3 times each week, and feel this is beneficial.

What kind of soy is good for you?

Our focus is on organic, non-GMO soy in its whole form, like tempeh, tofu, edamame, and miso is great too. Avoid processed soy, like soy protein shakes, soy hot dogs, soy burgers, and all foods that have soy protein isolate added to it. The problem is that when soy is processed this way, it loses the integrity of the protein and no longer has the benefits or acts normally in the body, like whole soy does. And most of this soy is GMO (genetically modified organism), which is a topic for another newsletter!

And finally, some people do have food sensitivity to soy, and therefore should avoid it. The best way to know is to remove it 100% from your diet for 3 weeks and then eat it again, paying attention for any kind of reaction, whether gut, joints, headache, fatigue. If you react, then it’s not for you!

And to answer a question I am asked all the time, soy lecithin is made from the fat in the soy, and is not typically a problem if you have soy sensitivity. But, we recommend avoiding it if you have a true soy allergy requiring the use of an epi-pen. Soy lecithin is commonly used in vitamins and supplements.

Susan Blum, M.D.

is soy safe?

Posted in Diet | Tagged | 6 Comments

February 4 was WORLD CANCER DAY. It seems that there is so much cancer around us that we don’t really need a World Cancer Day to remind us that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men in the US will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their lives. It is my wish that these daunting statistics do not motivate you by fear, but rather by love of life to make healthy choices that lead you to “create a body in which cancer cannot thrive”. I am going to put myself to bed an hour earlier and get more sleep! What are you going to do? I suggest you choose 1 new health giving life giving habit and integrate it into your daily life.

What’s in the News
It’s cold and flu season and the US Center for Disease Control admits that this year’s flu vaccine is ineffective against 67% or over 2/3 of flu causing viruses infecting people this 2014-2015 flu season.

Dr. Nalini’s Recommendation
What can you do to enhance your immunity and your resistance to viral infections? First of all wash your hands more frequently, get enough sleep (7-9 hours per night), drink plenty of fluids (8-10 eight ounce servings daily) and get at least 3 four ounce servings of protein daily. Last month we talked about the importance of Vitamin D. Take your Vitamin D daily (start with 1000-2000iu daily)

Botanical-Herbal medicine is filled with plants that support resistance to viral infections and cancer. Some of the most potent immune modulators are found in mushrooms, everything from delicious edible mushrooms used in cooking such as the common button mushroom, Portabello Mushrooms and Shiitake Mushrooms. Add mushrooms to your soups and salads regularly.

During flu season supplement with the great medicinal mushrooms of Chinese Medicine that have been used not only to boost resistance to infections but also to enhance your ability to fight cancer. The Immune Support Essentials contains not only Vitamin C but also Immunitone Plus which contains both Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma) as well as my favorite of all mushrooms, Cordyceps.

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Valentine’s Day was upon us. Our attention turns to matters of heart. Because I am not close to my own family I have created a circle of love and extended family throughout my life. I have borrowed and adopted other people’s moms, dads, brothers and sisters and deeply nourished my friendships and fallen in love with the great human family and all of life. This has lead me to ponder the question “Who is NOT family?” Try walking around for a week as if everyone is dear and precious to you and see what happens!! It is a great practice of open-heartedness and loving kindness. And it’s actually good for your health!! Of course, sometimes a practice like this can also show us how closed hearted we actually can be. In that case, the first place to put the salve of love is on one’s own tender heart and start there!!!! Slowly the heart softens and opens and life is richer, deeper and more sweet!! A great alternative to chocolate!!!

What About Heart Health?

Chemotherapy Can Permanently Damage Your Heart:

February is Heart Health Month. Let’s take a look at the risks to the heart health of cancer patients. Some chemotherapy drugs are actually toxic to the heart muscle and cause your heart to be weakened permanently after treatment. Heart damage is one of the most feared side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Although the cancer treatments may increase survival and longevity, heart damage might have the opposite effect Therefore it is crucial to protect your heart muscle during and after treatment. See the list below for drugs known to damage the heart. You can protect your heart muscle both during and after treatment.

  • Chemotherapy Drugs Which Damage the Heart and Blood Vessels
  • Drugs associated with Congestive Heart Failure
  • Anthracyclines/anthraquinolones
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Trastuzumabm Lapitinib, Perjeta and other monoclonal antibody-based tyrosine kinase inhibitors
  • Drugs associated with loss of blood flow or with increased clot formation
  • Antimetabolites (fluorouracil, capecitabine)
  • Antimicrotubule agents (paclitaxel, docetaxel)
  • Cisplatin
  • Thalidomide
  • Drugs associated with high blood pressure
  • Bevacizumab
  • Cisplatin
  • Sunitinib, sorafenib
  • Drugs associated with other toxic effects
  • Irregular heart beat and heart muscle fibrosis
  • Busulfan
  • Slowd heart rate
  • Paclitaxel
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon/changes in circulation to hands and feet
  • Vinblastine, bleomycin
  • Nerve Damage
  • Vincristine
  • Lung fibrosis
  • Bleomycin, methotrexate, busulfan, high- dose cyclophoshamide
  • Bleeding and heart inflammation Cyclophosphamide (high-dose therapy)

(from Cardiotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents and radiotherapy-related heart disease: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines, European Society for Medical Oncology, Oxford Journals,  Annals of Oncology, Volume 21, 2014)

Dr. Nalini’s Recommendation

Two Powerful Nutrients for Heart Protection

Carnitine is an amino acid that is a building block for muscle, including heart muscle. 1000-3000mg per day (Carnitine Tartrate powder may be added to a shake, mixed in yoghurt or applesauce)

CoQ10 (preferably in the form of Ubiquinol) supports the high energy demands of your constantly beating heart. 100-300mg per day.

By adding these nutrients, you can enhance your ability to protect your heart muscle, heart lining and blood vessels from damage caused by chemotherapy.

Nutrition and Food Choices are also important when seeking to keep the heart and blood vessels healthy in the face of chemotherapy treatment. Be sure you eat at least 3 to 4 ounce servings of protein daily and eat a rainbow of colors from berries and vegetables in your diet. (A protein smoothie with greens powder added is an easy way to meet these goals)

breast cancer and your heart

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So, we have been cooking for a long time. During the past 4 years, more leaning to meatless meals.  Yes, sometimes more raw or ‘gads!’ vegan.


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Tried these on Tuesday for ‘Meatless Monday’.  Yup, that is how it started.  The recipe comes from a blog we follow ‘oh my veggies‘ written by Ashley Jennings.  It is well photographed, well written and researched. A beautiful food blog. You should subscribe to her. Original recipe here

Well, let’s just day that, although we all try for ‘perfection’ whatever that is, we all need forgiveness. Not sure if the ricotta cheese or the spinach were too wet, but we should have noticed when our ‘balls’ did not look like hers on the cookie sheet.Eggplant_spinach_meatballs3

Anyway.  This was a reminder to us that no matter what things look like, it’s the the taste that matters, RIGHT?

And, the taste was wonderful! Go make them. And watch out for how moist everything is.

We are going to do it again soon. Try, try again!


Posted in Diet, Lifestyle and Fitness, Nutrition, Recipe | Leave a comment