by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
I am very fortunate to live within walking distance of a small lake, especially when it is overly warm – ok down right hot. Almost daily I take girl dog Sadie down to dibble her toes in the water. As an Aussie the idea of a swim means she got wet up to her belly. Her youthful joy at simply running and splashing gives me pause.
Today as I sat and watched her pounce on critters in the grass and run on the water’s edge, I thought about how things have changed within my life. At one time, I too would have been in the water splashing and playing no matter how cold the water was. As kids, we made rafts out of old truck tubes and tarps, fashioned paddles out of boards, climbed trees to swing off ropes, road bikes on gravel roads with log trucks to swimming holes, jumped and screamed off the rocks into the water…always on the move. I wondered how anyone could be content to just set and stair off at the view.
In my twenties and thirties, I was still on the move camping with our horses and packing into wilderness areas. But no longer was I as eager to jump in the water, swing from a rope or dodge log trucks on a bike. Things have continued to change, after all it is one of the things we can be sure of “change will always happen”.
Now I ponder all the things from my younger days taken for granted, health, happiness, independence, fearlessness, the magic of new and adventures, the future. I find for a time I too can set and watch the wind on the water and listen to the birds, before the urge to move takes me over. I am changing just like those in my life who are older than me.
My thoughts travel the direction, what will I look back on in another twenty years – will I too be facing not only the change in my health, the ache in my back or hips, or God forbid the loss of memory due to dementia? Regardless of these things, I like many of you will face the frustration of loss of independence, respect, value and abilities. I will also have to work through the anger of my body failing me, before I’m ready. I ask myself – What am I willing to do today in order to stay as active both mentally and physically as possible? Am I willing to let someone else dictate my healthcare? Will I follow the path of least resistance? Or will I fight the urge to give in and get up and move? Will I still be able to embrace change or take on the challenge of working for change?
We are facing the fast approaching Obama care event…some view it as the second coming others as the end. To be honest we will not know which for many years to come. But in the meantime it makes sense to prepare. Get copies of all your medical records, read them, ask questions of your doctor or care provider, ask what medications you can wean off of to save on your insurance or that may be dropped by your insurance, shop around – are you getting the best deal on your medications? I have one client who change pharmacies, had their provider alter their prescription, and went from a $700.00 prescription to $30.00 for the same medication.
Take advantage of workshops and presentations on healthcare options; please be as diligent about selecting your healthcare plan and providers as you are about the TV or car you buy. Know you will lose care, options and costs will go up. Gone are the days of being subservient to your doctors. While they hold the key to your prescriptions, they are also working for you and with you. If you cannot have an open candid conversation with your doctor, then have a relative become your medical advocate you can trust. Write down your wishes about end of life care; give a copy to your doctor as well as your medical representative. Be open and frank with your family, so there are no surprises.
While getting older is frustrating and scary, it is very much a fact of life. We plan for our lives when younger, we also need to plan for our lives as we age. Taking control and making your wishes known ads to the quality of life, reducing stress and hard feelings. Understand that no matter how active you are, you are still affecting those who share your life. I routinely ask clients “How do you want to be remembered and what do you want your memories to be?” Will it be, “good riddance they were mean and nasty” or will it be – you are talked about as a dear friend, respected and missed. Each day we make choices, we can choose Joy knowing that happiness may not be the flavor of the day. Or we can choose to make others miserable, in hopes it keeps their minds agile as they plot our demise.
Will our wishes be respected because we communicated them, or will our family be torn asunder due to our lack of planning. Remember we know not the hour or the day.
To Your Good Health and Longevity with Care and Planning.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
Eggs are one of those foods we have been eating forever… eggs Benedict, deviled eggs, egg salad, boiled, fried, scrambled and poached eggs; yet modern times have put the health benefits of eggs into question. Recently NPR posted a story about the color of eggs here in the United States verses other countries.
While the story did little to encourage individuals to eat farm eggs, it did remind me of my 4-H days with poultry and the conversations over feed, and commercial egg production. Yes it is true eggs get their dull or bright color from the feed given or available to the birds, corn and wheat being the primary grains fed to farm birds add a more yellow coloring to the yokes. But as hard as some might want to believe it chickens are far from vegetarian. I have always found it interesting that poultry is allowed in strict Jewish diets – after all, they break most of the dietary guidelines for food animals and so do ducks and geese.
Chickens prefer a good juicy bug to grain, and they love baby grass. It is these foods that add to the value of eggs in out diet. Yes they gobble up the seeds, but what they really want is found in a three day old cow pie or compost pile. And just like cows their digestive systems were not setup to live solely on grain. Everything an animal eats becomes part of their flesh and DNA – that means if you are allergic to wheat, corn or soy – eating foods fed these grains could illicit an allergic or inflammatory response from your immune system, leading to chronic illness.
In the case of eggs here is a example for you: I have a client who is 57, they have a violent reaction to corn and dairy. Now most commercial milk comes from cows fed corn….hum Also when this client eats store eggs regardless of whether they are cage free, organic or commercial, within an hour – gas, cramping and diarrhea result. Once again the food trail leads me back to – the poultry was fed corn and wheat with soy…hummmm When this client eats true free range eggs fed only cracked peas and whatever they can find on their own, there is no distress. Are you seeing the connection here?
It isn’t just about what we eat, but also about what is eaten by what we eat, that has an effect on our health. The same applies to our soils and vegetables, fruits and fish. I can just hear the salmon at the local pub calling out for those roasted soybeans can’t you?
Next, we run into the fairy world of medical myth. For years doctors have told clients to stop eating eggs because they are high in cholesterol. They lead to heart disease and so-on and so-forth the fairy tale goes…..
On July 19, 2013 a study was released and published that would make my great grandmother smack her forehead — mostly because to her it was common sense eggs were good for a growing child. Headline reads – Eating Eggs Is Not Linked to High Cholesterol in Adolescents, Study Suggests. “Although in the late 20th century it was maintained that eating more than two eggs a week could increase cholesterol, in recent years experts have begun to refute this myth. Now, a new study has found that eating more eggs is not associated with higher serum cholesterol in adolescents, regardless of how much physical activity they do.” And guess what it is the same for adult too.
There is more; let’s look at information from Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University’s School of Health Professions study published Aug. 2, 2011, she says eggs are not created equal. “Eggs high in omega-6 fatty acids heighten cholesterol’s tendency to oxidize, which forms dangerous plaque in arteries. Dr. Shapira’s research shows eggs laid by hens with healthier feed can lessen oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), the body’s “bad cholesterol.”
But healthier eggs cost more, Dr. Shapira says. The price of chicken feed varies from region to region, and in many areas, feed containing products high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as wheat, corn or maize, soy, and their oils, are much cheaper for egg producers to purchase.”
So the bottom line – buy from the farmers market or a local farmer, look them in the eye and ask if they are feeding commercial egg maker or do their birds free range. I know my egg producer by name and sight, they live in our community, and I know they depend on the quality of the food they produce just like I do for health.
To Fresh Foods Your Good Health
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
Every so often there is a media blitz on the dangers of a high salt diet, but they always seem to leave out the number one source of salt in the American diet is processed foods, diet sodas and fast food. The reports go on about, “salt is bad for us, it leads to heart, kidney and vascular disease – everyone should be on a low-salt diet”. The federal government and the American Medical Associations in 2012 made public announcements about the dangers of high salt diets only to have research come out within weeks showing the errors in the “salt is bad for you” frenzy.
Next up comes all the news reports and opinions that “salt is salt”, well any rancher will argue that one with you or your local farm supply wouldn’t have, a variety of versions of salt and mineral blocks.
Recently I made a trip with a friend and family to OMSI, on display was a stunning collection of photos taken over 15 years by a National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz, desert landscapes, salt flats and the culture or communities living or working in these harsh environments. It once more reminded me of the history of man and his need for real salt.
When we look back at history we see salt was so valuable entire civilizations developed from the collecting, and trading in this commodity. Salzburg Germany is named after salt, Roman soldiers were paid in salt; hence the saying “he’s not worth his salt”. The earliest known writings about salt occurred 5,000 years ago in China. 3,500 years ago Egyptians recorded salt production in paintings. Salt is so important to life, animals will travel great distances to get to it.
Sixty percent of the body’s sodium is stored in the fluids surrounding the cell and ten percent inside the cell. Sodium is the principal negatively charged ion in our cells responsible for the conduction and regulation of electricity (energy), making it the primary electrolyte. Some clinicians believe salt is alkalizing, thus reducing acidosis. David Brownstein, MD, has found clinically that many individuals with high blood pressure improve when placed back on “unrefined” salt. (Salt, Your Way to Health by David Brownstein, MD ISBN# 978-0-9660882-4-3) The benefits of “unrefined” salt in the human body work together with water – they go hand in hand. The human body is seventy percent water, the brain contains eighty percent water; we also contain about 250 grams of salt in an adult and 14 grams in a baby. Water and salt are necessary for metabolism, detoxification, hormone function, immune and nervous system function.
The first report of a relationship between salt and hypertension occurred in 1904, over the next fifty years animal studies supported the hypothesis. However no-one looked at the amount of salt given to the animals and the form of salt used, making the salt=high blood pressure correlation suspect.
• People who crave salt are often found to be suffering from Adrenal Insufficiency.
• Sodium may alleviate Constipation.
• Sodium Sulfate may alleviate Diarrhea.
• Nausea, Vomiting, Flatulence may occur as a result of Sodium deficiency.
• Optimal (but not excessive) Sodium levels are required for the correct function of the Kidneys.
• Sodium deficiency may cause Blurred Vision.
• Optimal Sodium levels are required for the correct function of the Lymphatic System (Sodium is a component of Lymph).
• 30% of the body’s Sodium concentrates in the Bones.
• Correct Potassium:Sodium balance is essential for the correct function of the Muscles: Shrinkage of the Muscles can occur as a result of Sodium deficiency. Sodium may facilitate proper Muscle contraction. Muscle Cramps may occur as a result of Sodium deficiency.
Not all Salt is Good for You
In today’s world of commercial foods salt truly is a concern. Not because of the use of salt but because of the kind of salt used and the chemicals used to clean and purify the salt from all contaminants including minerals. Salt isn’t white, nor does it flow easily; this is the result of chemical processing. Some of the chemicals used in salt refining are: sulfuric acid, and chlorine, anti-caking agents like sodium ferrocyanide, ammonium citrate and aluminum silicates and dextrose. “Unrefined” sea salt from companies like Selina Naturally who have Celtic sea salt, and Himalayan Crystal salt from Natural Health International, may contain over 80 key and trace minerals. Key and trace minerals are essential to health, they are the foundation of every biochemical response in the body. Standard table salt is straight sodium chloride, and at best has had iodine added along with the aforementioned chemicals.
Celtic sea and Himalayan salt can be useful in the detoxification of harmful chemicals from the body. However, it is important to be sure of the purity, just because it has one of these names on the label doesn’t mean it is “clean, or produced safely” many of the Himalayan sources are tools of war, slavery and unsafe mining practices. Bromine is one such chemical found in processed foods and drinks like Mountain Dew. Bromine bumps iodine off cell receptor sites affecting healthy thyroid function. People who ingest enough bromine feel dull, apathetic and have difficulty concentrating, may have headaches, depression and irritability. Bromine has also been linked to breast cancer. Salt competes with bromine in the kidneys for re-absorption, a low salt diet allows for greater amounts of bromine to be absorbed.
You should not add salt while cooking, but do have it available on the table to add fresh to the meal when eating, especially in the summer months. Use common sense about being out in the sun, slop on coconut oil to protect your skin, and salt makes a great skin rub to remove dry-skin before a shower.
To Your Good Health & Fresh Real Food and Summer
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
We are now in Summer, or at least that is what the calendar is telling me. With warmer weather just like plants bursting forth – come the drug store displays of weight loss and diet aids. According to a 2012 report from the federal trade commission Americans spend more than $40 billion annually on weight-loss products and services, most of these programs and products disappoint, others are downright dangerous.
For millions of Americans we are looking for the magic pill that will melt away the pounds without us personally having to do anything. When we look at the ever growing diameter of American waist lines the question that needs to be asked is “What has Changed?”. For some the response would be, “it is all those video games and TV”, others might say “if people would just push away from the table they wouldn’t be so fat”.
The quality, and quantity of food in America changed dramatically over the last 50 years, also so has our perception of body weight. While this is not intended as an easy out, the fact remains we are not all cut with the same genetic cookie cutter. Some people have large bones, denser muscle mass, male, female, Scandinavian, Latin American, tall, short….The baby boomer generation and the subsequent ones following, revere images of Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Steve McQueen, and Cher. All thin folks, but not necessarily realistic representations of health and genetics. Some of these were normal body types, others were distortions and unhealthy. While money might buy you a personal chef and coach, time to spend three hours a day working out and a house keeper, it won’t change genetics or plain ol’ bad food. From Clintons French fry’s to Elizabeth Tyler’s battle with obesity, the answer isn’t in a pill.
The amount of money being spent on weight loss products is a clear indication we are scarred…I routinely see individuals purchase “Green Tea Fat Burner, or Green Coffee” products looking for a fix to their every expanding tummy’s and health concerns. This is not solely age related either – I have elderly individuals as obsessed with body fat as the younger ones.
The villain in all this isn’t that Johnny is pigging out on chips and soda forever on the couch with no self-control, it is the unknown ingredients laced like drugs throughout every day foods – if they can be truly called that; flavorings, sweeteners, colors and chemicals found in foods never present before the late 1980’s. The food industry employs top scientists to develop products that we can’t stop eating because of how they affect our brain chemistry.
Add to this Americas increase of chemical exposure through petroleum, medications, herbicides and plastics, masquerading as estrogens– stir in gently a national experiment in high carbohydrate, low fat, and low protein diets, increase in sedentary lifestyles and over three generations you have pandemic increases in cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Young and old alike are desperate to lose weight and regain their health and vitality. The frustration eventually leads to despair, and you see the evidence of this every day at the checkout lanes in the grocery store.
I currently have a 20’something client who, works a high stress job, consumes almost no fruits and vegetables, and daily is fighting a battle of wills with Dr. Pepper and fast food. Each day they drag themselves to the gym, work out, weigh themselves, and drop their head in despair when seeing their image in the mirror or the number on the scale. How can we spend so much energy on trying to look thin, and almost none on trying to be healthy? Americans relationship with food is a love – hate event, we have a history with fast and convenient, and we are surrounded by advertising that shows young thin-fresh faces smacking down burgers and fries, milkshakes and candy, soda and chips.
On top of advertising from the food industry, we have the Oz followers. Whatever Dr. Oz says, becomes a marketing boon. This last week it has been over the miracle of green coffee to fat burn. The little pills — which are produced by grinding up raw, unroasted coffee, and then soaking the result in alcohol to pull out the antioxidants are written up in Life Extension and countless health newsletters.
The main ingredient in green coffee extract — an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid — didn’t help obese mice shed the pounds over a 12-week period, scientists at the University of Western Australia reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Instead, the compound gave the little rodents the early symptoms of diabetes: The animals were less sensitive to insulin and had higher blood-sugar levels between meals, compared with their overweight comrades who didn’t get the antioxidant, evidence the supplement melts off pounds in humans is, slim.
Keeping journals recording what you are eating, and how it makes you feel has the same effectiveness track record as Dr. Oz TV study(?) group on green coffee pills, without the potential harm and disappointment. There is strong evidence keeping track of your diet does improve weight loss, while empowering the individual.
A journal is cheaper than green coffee pills, liposuction, tummy tucks, and gastric bypasses. Not to mention the cost of diabetes, heart disease or knee replacement resulting from obesity. Even Oz admits – “I know $30 a day costs a lot,” he said on his show. “If that’s too much for you, the free option is a food journal.”
To Your Good Health & Fresh Real Food.
by Tammera J, Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
This last week while doing research for my wellness classes, I came across an article on Truvia, a stevia product making its way onto shelves, then at class one of the folks asked “what do you think about stevia?” Well freshly armed with information on Truvia being a Monsanto product; After having seen several articles on changes in the natural foods trends and market, I was able to mention truvia was not my choice, but stevia from plants and other reliable sources was a good choice.
South Americans have been using stevia for centuries. Territorial Seed company, in Cottage Grove generally has plants for purchase this time of year for gardening enthusiasts. Native to tropical climates, stevia has been in diets in Paraguay, Brazil, Korea and China for years. However, it’s only recently that stevia has become the “hot” new alternative to sugar north of the equator, and it’s now readily available throughout the United States and Europe. This is largely due to a trade embargo on the product interestingly enough brought about by the development of saccharin. The FDA has prohibited all but one form of stevia as a food additive and is listed as a dietary supplement. Stevia was the sweetener option for diabetics in America prior to the FDA trade embargo to allow saccharin a fair market share….and what this had to do with health?
The Basic Facts on Stevia
Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family, native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, or simply stevia. Stevia is three hundred times sweeter than sugar and has less aftertaste than brain killing artificial sweeteners like equal, saccharin, and spenda. An attractive attribute of stevia, is it has little to no effect on blood glucose levels. Additionally it does not seem to elevate insulin levels or blood pressure. (These statements have not been approved by the FDA) Some even claim it may have a positive effect on how it helps the pancreas beta cells recover. Any time you change your diet as a diabetic, make sure you closely monitor your blood sugar levels and medications.
Where Stevia Has Been
The stevia plant was used extensively by the Guarani people for more than 1,500 years, and has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil. The leaves have been traditionally used for hundreds of years in Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten local teas, medicines and as a “sweet treat”. In 1899 Swiss botanist Moisés Santiago Bertoni, during his research in eastern Paraguay, first described the plant and the sweet taste in detail.
The availability of stevia varies, in a few countries, it has been available as a sweetener for centuries; it has been widely used since 1970 in Japan after exhaustive studies as a sugar substitute. The United States banned stevia in the early 1990s, then in May 2008 Coca Cola and Cargill announced the availability of Truvia, a consumer brand stevia sweetener containing erythritol and rebiana, which the FDA permitted as a food additive in December 2008. Coca-Cola announced intentions to release stevia-sweetened beverages in late December 2008.
Shortly afterward, PepsiCo and Pure Circle announced PureVia, their brand of stevia-based sweetener, but withheld release of beverages sweetened with rebaudioside A until receipt of FDA confirmation. Since the FDA permitted Truvia and PureVia, both Coca Cola and PepsiCo have introduced products that contain their new sweeteners.
Stevia can also be used as a replacement for sugar in baking — however, it has to be used in reduced amounts. It is a good idea to get a few recipes already proven with stevia before charging ahead in the kitchen. Also it should be noted the number one insult to blood sugars is WHEAT, CORN AND RICE, if all you are doing is replacing the sugar but not getting out the grains you are only fooling yourself, while daily killing your kidneys, brain, heart and liver.
Think that is harsh? Remember type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and controllable with diet, and lifestyle. Unless you are a veteran exposed to Agent Orange, this pandemic taking over the world can be stopped at the glass, plate and fork.
Is Stevia Safe? In comparison to other artificial sweeteners, stevia is one of the “safest” options. Interestingly, over forty years ago, Japan banned the use of the majority of artificial sweeteners in consumer products. The Japanese then conducted over 40,000 clinical studies on stevia, and it became the only non-sugar sweetener the Japanese public was allowed to consume.
by Tammera J, Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
Oregon made the headlines over what is supposed to be a discontinued venture. NPR reported on May 30th a farmer in Eastern Oregon found GMO wheat in his fields, and has no idea how it got there. According to the NPR report, wheat growers are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react. Export markets are the main reason why genetically engineered wheat isn’t on the market in the United States.
The biotech company Monsanto did create varieties of wheat that tolerate the weedkiller glyphosate, or Roundup — just as it created “Roundup Ready” corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. It also carried out field trials of this wheat in 16 different states. But the country’s wheat growers told the company No. “We are not in favor of commercializing any biotech trait unless it’s gone through regulatory approvals in the U.S. and in other countries,” says Steve Mercer, vice president of communications for US Wheat Associates. Many countries, including some that import wheat from the U.S., are quite hostile to genetically engineered crops. Monsanto supposedly dropped the wheat project and ended its field trials of wheat in 2005.
Nobody knows how this wheat got to the farm in Oregon, Monsanto ended their trials in 2001, after all such trials, the genetically engineered crops are supposed to be completely removed. Also, nobody knows how widely this genetically engineered wheat has spread, and whether it’s been in fields of wheat that were harvested for food. (here is a thought – birds, wildlife, trucks and machinery - equipment has to be washed before entering a fire area or work site to remove noxious weed seeds, shared farm equipment could be a carrier, along with migratory birds and wildlife.)
According to the USDA, even if it has escaped, there’s no danger to public health. Still, if further tests show this unapproved wheat has spread into the food supply, it could play havoc with wheat sales. In 2006, traces of genetically engineered rice — also unapproved — were discovered in large parts of the American rice harvest. That discovery shut down America’s rice exports to some countries. Exporters lost millions of dollars. The wheat harvest is much bigger.
On May 31st, less than twenty four hours after the news broke on the GMO wheat in Oregon, the headlines read – Japan Suspends Wheat Imports From Pacific Northwest States… For anyone who loves the diversity of Oregon, and has traveled to the regions outside of the Willamette valley, you know thousands of acres in every direction along the northeastern border plateau lands, are rolling hills of “wheat.” Washington equally has thousands of acres invested in Wheat.
Additionally in Eastern Oregon, ranchers are seeding with wild grasses to prevent soil erosion and create habitat for grouse, sage hens, quail, deer, antelope and elk. As a kid, I remember BLM planting crested wheat by airplane and equipment to provide habitat. Now, I’m no farmer, but this worries me, and my livelihood isn’t dependent on it. Farmers have a hard enough time making a living without markets closing their doors over “Monsanto’s” little oopses.
Soda Mouth’ or ‘Meth Mouth: When I saw this headline, I couldn’t pass it up. Once again NPR reported on, Mohamed Bassiouny, a researcher and professor of dentistry at Temple University in Philadelphia. After two decades of examining patients in dental clinics in Philadelphia and in Appalachia, where he worked as a volunteer, he says he has observed striking similarities between the lesions on the teeth of crack and methamphetamine addicts, and those on the teeth of people addicted to soda. (I like this guy!, no sugar coating here.)
In his paper, he describes three cases of severe dental erosion. (If you go online you can see the VERY graphic photos) One person had been using methamphetamine for three years, a second had used crack cocaine for 18 years, and a third person, a woman, reported consuming two liters of diet soda daily for the past three to five years. All three were adults who lived in cities with fluoridated water, and had similar socio-economic backgrounds. All three had lesions on their teeth that “had almost identical features,” Bassiouny writes.
Appalachia, according to Bassiouny, is “ground zero” for soda addiction. Some people he treated consumed more than a dozen 12-ounce cans of soda a day. (And we wonder why diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, chronic pain and heart disease is pandemic in the United States? How much of this soda is paid for with welfare moneys?)
“What I saw in Appalachia really crystallized for me the extreme erosion associated with the acids in the beverage,” says Bassiouny. Citric acid, a preservative that enhances flavor and shelf life in soda, is the main culprit. It erodes the enamel and eventually the dentin — the core of the tooth. Energy drinks and citrus juices also contain high levels of citric acid, though beverage companies aren’t required to disclose exactly how much on drink labels.
“It all contributes to the damaging effect on dentition,” says Bassiouny. It means even if you limit your soda intake to one can a day, you should avoid other beverages that could contain citric acid to lessen, not eliminate the damage.
The other question not looked at in this study is what about the teeth of children who are still developing? Every day we see toddlers to teens walking around with these beverages. It is currently estimated that 60% of teenage girls are osteoporotic, primarily from soda replacing other healthier beverages in the diet. The American Beverage Association won’t concede beverages are ruining people’s teeth, according to NPR.
To Your Good Health & Healthy Food.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCHN, BCIH
Politicians and world leaders have used food sources to manipulate populations leading to wide spread famine and population control for centuries. For the history buffs check out the book “Taste of War” by Lizzie Collingham.
We are at a crossroads in history with food. For the first time we have gone from selective breeding and hybridization to Genetic Engineering. This has been done under the belief “we can feed the world through science” The most impressive advance in agriculture was the advent of fertilizer that allowed for more nitrogen to be available than what was naturally occurring from nature. This advance allowed for more to be fed from smaller areas of land, until this time the farmland/population balance could only advance so far due to soil health. Think back to farming events that led up to the great dust bowl, and the understanding of crop rotation for soil health.
Our cross road today is the battle over genetic modification/engineering food labeling, not over the development, sale or use. I personally believe I have the right to make food purchase based on my beliefs, one of those is the importance of buying local produce and fruits, keeping more of my moneys here at home. The other is my ideological concerns over messing in Gods cookie jar – DNA and RNA manipulation for profit.
Currently we have Oregon HB 2175 & 2532 in the works that would require the labeling of GMO foods sold in Oregon.
While some may feel this is a small issue, I ask you to think further. What happens when squash, tomato, and potatoes from GE sources escape into non GE crops? How do you feel about receiving your vaccines through your potatoes? Won’t happen the experts say – ya right I have a bridge for sale too.
In fact it already has with squash, potatoes and tomatoes, the loss of native, heirloom and the most important part fertile food crops will be devastating on local economies, food stores, populations and health. The potatoes was an easy convert to carrying cholera vaccine, they are working out the kinks in transportation methods now. Tomatoes were GE to carry antibiotics and the FDA halted the sales, but it is being revisited, GE squash fled the field along with rice quickly after its first planting.
Additionally Monsanto is busy in Washington as we speak; a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the big Appropriations funding bill (H.R. 933) is being debated in the Senate. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, has included a dangerous GMO rider that has no place in a funding bill. Fortunately, Senator Tester, Senators Boxer, Gillibrand, and Leahy, have introduced amendment #74 to strike the dangerous rider from the CR. Tell your member of Congress to support the Tester amendment and dump the dangerous biotech rider.
“…Government scientists have stated that the artificial insertion of DNA into plants, a technique unique to genetic engineering, can cause a variety of significant problems with plant foods. Such genetic engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods and introduce new toxicants and health concerns…
Genetic engineering of plants and animals often causes unintended consequences. Manipulating genes and inserting them into organisms is an imprecise process. The results are not always predictable or controllable, and they can lead to adverse health or environmental consequences…
(f) Fifty countries—including the European Union member states, Japan and other key U.S. trading partners—have laws mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods. No international agreements prohibit the mandatory identification of foods produced through genetic engineering. …
In addition, 26 years of research and 19 years of commercialization reveal that GE has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields. The actual accomplishments of GE have been to make farmers buy more pesticides and to drive up the price of patented seeds.
Current FDA policy is that genetically engineered foods do not need to be labeled, arguing genetically engineered foods are “substantially equivalent” to non-GE foods.
To Your Right to Know and Taking Back Control of your Health
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD. BCHN. BCIH
No one knows your body and health better than you do, if you are exposed to information that empowers you in taking back control of your health, and as an informed consumer do so, the job of your primary healthcare provider just got easier, because you are doing your part to stay healthy, vibrant and productive.
Many health challenges have the same symptoms; that is one of the reasons family history is important. Familial tendency’s shed light on what may be the answer to your health problems such as fatigue, heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath or anyone of the symptoms associated with low ferritin. Low ferritin may be only a symptom of other more pressing health challenges like celiac, Crohns, and thyroid dysfunction. The challenge is to make sure a deficiency like low ferritin is not overlooked allowing for better long-term management of illnesses.
So how do I know what my ferritin level is? If you have a healthcare provider who is partnered with you to achieve health, ask them to order a serum ferritin level when they do your blood work, you should also routinely check your vitamin D, A1C hemoglobin and homocysteine levels.
What to do if ferritin is low? For starters know, in order for your ferritin levels to read “low”, you biologically have been in an iron deficient state for quite a while. When reviewing lab results depending on the lab, you will see ferritin ranges are 12-500ng/mL or 15-400ng/mL.,, That is a huge range and not the best gage of optimum. So clinically, here is what I have gleaned. The thyroid and adrenal glands works best when ferritin is somewhere between 80-110ng/mL, women will routinely complain of hair loss between 60-40ng/mL, fatigue and lightheadedness between 40-20ng/mL, 20ng/mL and lower can manifest in heart arrhythmias, breathlessness, irritability nerve pain or restless leg to name just a few. Note that all of these “symptoms” are within normal range according to the lab tests.
The very best food source of ferritin (iron) is liver preferably pork. I know, I know all the objections and can see in my mind the distorted faces from even suggesting liver. Keep in mind we in the US are alone in our aversion to organ meat consumption. This cultural fact may account for the growing numbers of individuals low in not only iron but vitamin D and B12.,,,,
Hem iron is the most bioavailable of the bound forms of iron, and that means flesh foods; lean red meat, lamb, buffalo, wild game, sockeye salmon, tuna, pork and chicken legs; the next best are molasses, sesame seeds pumpkin seeds, pistachios, the herbs dandelion, coco, rice bran, spirulina and cold water kelp., The iron and health promoting minerals zinc and magnesium are tightly bound by phytic acid in all plants rich in these minerals, that is why it is so very hard for the digestive system to extract iron (ferritin) from plants.
Phytic acid discovered in 1903, is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds. Phytate is indigestible for humans and many animals, making it a useless source for inositol or phosphate. Phytate chelates and minerals such as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, calcium and magnesium, rendering them of no biological value for health.
While spinach, beans, and lentils are high in iron, the phytic acid reduces absorption by fifty percent. A balanced blending of fruits, vegetables, grains and organic organ foods allows the body to absorb iron without gastric upset as common with supplementation. The consumption of whey protein, tea both green and black, anti-inflammatory medications, alcohol, caffeine, milk thistle, excessive calcium supplementation, and high dose zinc all contribute to low ferritin levels.
It is believed, most individuals are not low in iron, however as we age we lose hydrochloric acid production, and many increase the amount of calcium to reduce the chance of osteoporosis, the use of anti-inflammatory medications for aches and pains associated with osteoarthritis and ageing all interfere with ferritin. This combination along with reduced and subpar dietary intake could easily increase the likelihood of elderly individuals being low ferritin as well as those with chronic illness.
The utilization of a blood test may prevent unnecessary falls, or medications. Adding to the vitality and quality of life.
Take Back Control of Your Health in 2013
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by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCHN, BCIH
Our family gives gifts or treasures at Easter like many do at Christmas. You are more likely to get chocolate at Christmas around our house than Easter, but there is at least one bunny who lost his head by the end of the weekend. This year the Bunny brought me a basket full of gifts from God and my family. One was getting to spend a day with Dr. James Wilson and friends, learning about thyroid health – more on this later. Another falls into the trash category for those who don’t care for old stuff.
We are now the proud owners of a 1906 edition of Gesine Lemcke’s cookbook “European and American Cuisine.” Now in my mind this is really cool! On the cover page is this simple quote, “Beauty, Health, and Happiness depend upon the kind of food we eat.”
The preface begins with; “What science can boast of having done more for the happiness of humanity and the advances of civilization of the world than the art of cooking? It is strange this, the most valuable, is so often left in the hands of the ignorant ……. for the destiny of the world depends on the food we eat”
I have reflected on this over the days, in light of sharing with clients how food scientists use brain scans, and chemistry to increase the desirability, addictiveness, shelf life, and appearance of foods. There are neuroscientists employed by food corporations that study how tastes like chili trigger opiate (think opium) receptors in the brain, others study how the brain releases neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (you feel pleasure, ecstasy) when ice cream touches the tongue. A great video can be seen on the internet done by the Canadian Broadcasting Service (CBS) called “The Science of Addictive Foods”; Ms. Lemcke, had no idea just how far science would be interwoven with food.
There is a growing counter culture in America who think of food as “clean”. This group of largely 20-40 year olds are busy buying from farmers markets, wholefoods, truck stands and artisan bistros – they are also voting with their dollar, and the consumer momentum behind a multi-billion dollar natural food industry. With spring now gracing our landscape with the promise of autumn’s harvest, farmers markets are opening up throughout. My local farmers market opened just this weekend, and county “community supported agriculture” (CSA) farms are busy planting and planning for weekly produce deliveries to members.
Contrary to some – this counter culture is not new, it is in fact a return to traditional values of local small farms providing quality foods for their communities. It is the standard in Europe and in my experience the norm for food purchasing in Argentina, Chili, and New Zealand. The science is in the husbandry of the land, livestock, and lifestyle, not the test tube and petridish dish looking for chemical structures that mimic the taste, texture and smell of chicken, onion or butter.
Don Kruse shared with attendees at a Think Local sponsored event in 2011, how when his father started farming in the Umpqua valley and later as their farm grew, they delivered to 6 or 7 small markets on the main street of downtown Roseburg, they took car loads and later truckloads of produce to Reedsport and even Oakridge. Today they have to compete with asparagus from Peru and apples and berries from Mexico and Chili, their farming costs have escalated and there is always the thought of “will my great grandchildren be able to enjoy the life I have loved in this area”? Not to mention the idea of local fresh produce being available at a downtown market!
This last year Neighborworks Umpqua opened a new market in the old Grand hotel, providing an outlet for LOCAL businesses and foods producers; this “counter culture” activity supports local farmers and artisans, preserves local economies, provides healthier food choices and community. Where is the glitz in slow food not from a mega corporation or lab? Such an old fashioned idea –
New, modern, faster, cheaper …. The mantra of many, but for me, I like the o’l slow, real deal, the value in knowing where my food has come from, traditional and not so traditional foods, and the treasure of learning from the past. My cookbook and ideas might be old and out dated, but I can whip up one hell of a great meal over an open fire, I know how to grow and preserve foods without electricity or a microwave… And to me that is far from trash – it is a treasure.
To a Your Good Health and Real Foods from Real People.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCHN, BCIH
Now many of you have heard me say “my name is Thomas and I’m from Missouri” over more than one topic. “ChemTrails” are such a topic. Let me start at the beginning and tell you how a thought began forming in my mind for this column.
While many of you may be under the impression I never get sick, that is not the case – after having been exposed to two weeks of plague carriers in my family, I came down with the worst cold in 20 years. Now when you feel slightly better than death warmed over, you do not have the energy to do a whole lot, thinking fills the gap with no television available.
I sat outside soaking like a lizard in the spring sun and enjoyed the movements of clouds in the sky. A jet trail appeared and I thought about the puzzle of “chemtrails” – was the government dumping planeloads of biological and chemical warfare on us? Was my cold the result of biological weaponry or a simple spring cold brought on by climate change from winter to spring, higher humidity’s with warmer temperatures and Gods sense of humor called pollen.
I pondered how things have changed with advances in technology, satellites, computer modeling, and aviation in my lifetime. When I was a kid in eastern Oregon, we routinely saw big military planes flyover high in the sky, and crop dusting took place feet above the vegetation to insure it didn’t drift away. This was the late 60’s and 70’s and we were under the flight path for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is located in Colorado, planes were flying around 50,000 feet, most US military aircraft could exceed 50,000 feet by 1976 according to physlink.com. Commercial planes, flew around 20, 000 – 30,000 feet.
– if my facts on flight elevations are off just go with it I have a cold remember.
Keeping this information in mind, I thought about the advances in satellite imagery and modern understanding of weather patterns, air currents and how the weather thousands of miles away or natural events like a volcano in Iceland affect the world we live in. What are the air currents doing on the surface, midlevel, Jetstream and higher? Without being a student of meteorology, it is still apparent to me, air currents like water currents are affected by a great many things and don’t always have a rhyme or reason to their movement.
Back to ChemTrails – the internet, facebook and popular conspiracy world are full of talk about how the military is dumping planeloads of biological and chemical contaminates on us here on tera ferma.
One site I, looked at said: “Covert Climate Control? Under the banner of some top-secret scientific agenda, the US military continues to weave chemical-laden contrails in the skies, causing health problems for unprotected people on the ground”. Another “Why would anyone (in their right mind) think that spraying toxic chemicals (chemtrails) – into our atmosphere – is a good idea? So, the question remains, why do you think “chemtrails” and other geoengineering projects exist today? (Hint: control and profit)”.
I have clients who have fled the USA for safe chemtrail free countries like Ecuador. When I questioned them on this, they went into great detail about all the chemtrails being over the United States, and this was the cause of the terrible cancers and illnesses.
So my question to you is – Where is all the population and highest density of air travel likely to be? The Northern hemisphere and we have more jets in the air today than at any time in the past, transporting people all over the world. So yes we will see more contrails in the sky.
The source of the growing conspiracy on US planes and Chemtrails is currently from Michael Murphy, a journalist, filmmaker and political activist from the Los Angeles.
I feel reassured don’t you?
He and others got the idea initially from, “the Patriot Page from 1997, the following quote is from an archive of this site. “We now have proof that our goverment is using chemical agents on populated areas they are adding it to military jet fuel. Have you ever looked up at a vapor trail behind military aircraft flying so high a symbol of Americas power. Look again!!
Commerical jets also leave a lovely (non-toxic) vapor trail when the heat from the turbines come in contact with the cool air condencing the water droplets into steam. Softly the lines defuse into the blue sky. So what is different about the military aircraft, the answer is simple, It’s the Fuel JP-8+100 is some really bad stuff.
When you look up over the skys of New York City on a clear, sunny morning you see the military aircraft making patterens across the sky with their vapor trails. The smoke is thick and does not go away. When it comes in contact with the sunlight it turns to a purple color, then desipates into a over cast Purple Haze, this whole thing stinks of a Goverment DePopulation Program”.
I simply cannot take this seriously. From ground level how can you possibly tell the difference between the contrail of a commercial jet and a military one without some impressive optics? Upper atmosphere temperatures, jet stream, flight elevation, speed, and type of aircraft, determine the length of time a jet trail is visible.
Additionally I looked up JP-8+100, to see what it is – after looking at over 12 sites from academia, aerospace industry sites and freedom of information releases from the military, what I found is – JP-8+100 is a fuel additive used by EVERY commercial and military airplane today, it is also used in tanks, ships, and trucks. This fuel additive increases the temperature at which aviation fuel burns, reducing carbon build up on the injectors and engine. This also allows the motor to cool more efficiently reducing heat stress and ware.
The temperatures of the exhaust from one of these engines will pretty much incinerate anything in its path – including man made bugs… The worst third degree burn I have ever received was from a brush up on a motorcycle exhaust pipe, and the temps from that where nothing compared to a jet engine. My thoughts also after having been around retardant planes, crop dusters, single prop and jets – those who have flown military and commercial planes – I find it very hard to believe those intelligent and honorable individual’s would risk the lives of their families on the ground by dumping toxins on them for the sake of a conspiracy.
In conclusion, I avoid the overuse of antibiotics, don’t get the flu shot, and believe no one cares more about my health than me, and sometimes you get sick no matter what. I refuse to live in fear, which only leads to chronic illness and cancers through elevated cortisol levels. In my mind at this juncture “chemtrails” are hokum, and there are far more serious legislative, health and economic issues for us to work on.
To your Good Health and Common Sense.