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
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
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.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCHN, BCIH
As I have scanned through the health headlines, once again the fears of bird flu and the role of antibiotic resistant super bugs resulting from over-use of antibiotics in swine top the list.
For openers let me say up front – yes I had vaccines growing up, so did my son – and we also had mumps and chicken pox, colds, sore throats and I can count on one hand how many times we have been on antibiotics during our lives. Today we opt-out of all the flue, pneumonia, shingles and HPV vaccines, but find it a good idea to have a tetanus shot. Everything does not have to be an “all or nothing” process. I am far more likely to get tetanus with my activities than I am HPV – I weigh the odds, as each of us should do.
A study conducted in Canada showed a marked increase in hospitalizations for pneumonia and flu following vaccination – the results were the same across the county and Health Canada stopped the administering of flu shots. Bottom line they saved money by not giving the shots and in hospital bills. There are as many of us who object to vaccines as those who insist they are a necessary to overall health.
So what is in these vaccines? A lot of stuff from heavy metals to placental tissue – if you have a problem with abortion take a look at what is in your syringe.
Now back to the piggys:
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is a particularly vicious staph infection that plagues hospitals, it may have gotten its obstinate resistance to antibiotics from the routine of giving of antibiotics to farm animals, according to a new study by researchers at Northern Arizona University. MRSA has become a major epidemic and more drug-resistant as it has spread. While most people normally have a bit of Staphylococcus bacteria on their skin, certain MRSA strains are lethal and difficult to treat when they get into the bloodstream.
According to the study, published by the American Society for Microbiology, the vicious new strains of MRSA did not develop in hospitals as previously thought; it appears the superbug started as a somewhat mild-mannered staph bacterium that jumped into the pig population. Later, when it eventually passed back to humans, it returned with a bad attitude and resistance to the major antibiotics generally used to treat staph infections. Researchers compared the genomes of humans, barnyard fowl and pigs from 19 countries to trace MRSA’s emergence, and the habit of giving livestock antibiotics as a matter of course has been credited with the development of this tenacious killer.
The big issue is that the common use of antibiotics in meat animals has killed off weaker versions of bacteria, while allowing stronger, antibiotic resistant strains to survive and reproduce additional difficult-to-kill offspring.
The CC398 strain of MRSA is in almost half of all the US food supply meat, according to the American Society for Microbiology. Most of the time the staph bacteria are killed when people cook their food well, but thoroughly washing counters and cutting boards after meat has touched them is a priority. According to the CDC, about 19,000 people died of MRSA infections in 2005. And 94,000 persons contracted their first serious MRSA infection that same year, 86 percent of which in healthcare facilities.
A 2010 CDC study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed health care facilities have been more successful in fighting MRSA since 2005. The number of invasive (life-threatening) MRSA infections declined 28 percent between 2005 and 2008, and rates of MRSA bloodstream infections fell almost 50 percent during the 10 years from 1997 to 2007.
At the same time, MRSA continues to be spread outside of health care facilities. Childcare workers and students who participate in wrestling are susceptible; locker rooms, shared yoga or workout mats have been tagged as spreading grounds for bacteria.
Re-enter Silver Nitrate (ionic silver protein)
I had the great opportunity to work with Larry Bogart, MD, several years ago; one of Dr. Bogart’s many life experiences was working in missionary hospitals in Africa. One day Dr. Bogart grumped in his quiet way about perpetual sinus issues – I suggested he use liquid silver, at first he resisted, then the light went on and he recounted how they used silver nitrate all the time in Africa for infections. It was effective, safe and affordable. Dr. Bogart left us in 2011 after beating all the odds with an incurable lung disease; he continued to use silver and Chinese herbs till almost the end.
By 1939, as penicillin and other antibiotic drugs began to replace silver colloids, the American Medical Association recognized at least 96 different proprietary silver-based products in clinical use at the time. Even today, silver sulfadiazine is considered by most medical experts to be the topical antiseptic of choice in patients undergoing radiation therapy or with extensive burns. Silver is known to inhibit the growth of nearly all pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses including those resistant to antibiotics.
The best source of liquid silver is NOT what you brew up in your kitchen with electrodes you buy from mail order or the internet. There are countless impurities in the rods and in your local water supply. If you are fighting MRSA, chronic sinus and lung infections, or countless other things please use products like VRP Silver Protein (vrp.com) or a compounding pharmacist as directed. Use antibiotics when necessary, wash your hands and by all means stay away from the pig pens.
There is more to good health than the Status Quo.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
As December 21st approaches we see the years shortest day pass, for those with SAD-seasonal affective disorder it means every day following the winter solstice will be a little longer and that spring is only weeks away. Yes I’m an optimist, ignoring the long days of fog, rain and gray. Gardeners are expecting their seed catalogs to start appearing in the mail, with the same anticipation of children waiting for the Sears Christmas catalog from a few years ago. Christmas is very much about hope, whether viewed from ancient pagan eyes or those of today. Hope that 2012 will be better than 2011, hope for our country, families and businesses.
Among the pagan traditions that have become part of Christmas is burning the yule log. This custom springs from many different cultures, but in all of them its significance seems to lie in the iul or “wheel” of the year. The Druids would bless a log and keep it burning for 12 days during the winter solstice – hence the 12 days of christmas; part of the log was kept for the following year, when it would be used to light the new yule log. For the Vikings, the yule log was an integral part of their celebration of the solstice, the julfest; on the log they would carve runes representing unwanted traits (such as ill fortune or poor honor) that they wanted the gods to take from them.
So the shortest day gained importance, and fires were lit, and light was used to encourage the year to turn, the village Elders would watch, to see if the fire had turned the tide of darkness. This would be visible by the 25th, and a huge feast would be eaten to celebrate the success. So well before Christianity, this time of year was celebrated by feasting. And the early Christian church adopted the existing Festival (in AD300s) to assist in converting people to Christianity. The original recyclers.
The ever-present threat of hunger was triumphantly overcome with a feast, all manner of food would be served at Christmas. The most popular main course was goose, but many other meats were also served. Turkey was first brought to Europe from the Americas around 1520, its earliest known consumption in England is 1541, and because it was inexpensive and quick to fatten, it rose in popularity as a Christmas feast food.
Humble pie was made from the “humbles” of a deer — the heart, liver, brains and so forth. While the lords and ladies ate the choice cuts, the servants baked the humbles into a pie, which of course made the meat go further. This appears to be the origin of the phrase, “to eat humble pie.” By the seventeenth century Humble Pie had become a trademark Christmas food, as evidenced when it was outlawed along with other Christmas traditions by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan government.
But prior to that, a favorite Christmas dish was brawn. Brawn was considered to be a tasty delicacy and made with more than just the brains of animals like sheep and pig. We aren’t used to eating offal nowadays, but it was commonplace in the past, partly because it was cheap, and also because it tasted good. So brawn is essentially the head of the animal boiled until the meat falls from the bone, than mixed with the poached brain, onions and other vegetables, preserved in jelly or aspic, or even broth. Brawn was a usual part of the Christmas feast right up until Victorian times.
The Christmas pudding of Victorian and modern times evolved from the medieval dish of frumenty — a spicy, wheat-based dessert. Many other desserts were made as welcome treats for children and adults alike.
Because Christmas became such an important feast, every luxury item was saved for it, and seasonal food used as well. Luxuries such as sugar cones, and imported dried fruits, were carefully save, and seasonal items such as nuts available during the Autumn were also harvested and stored for the feast. The finest drinks, such as wine and brandy, were kept aside for Christmas.
Many of these items were used for the pudding and the cake. The pudding was stuffed with dried fruit and the peel or citrus fruits – the latter of which was made when citrus fruits became available. Both pudding and cake traditionally include the addition of brandy, a very expensive item. To make the pudding more spectacular as it arrived at the table, brandy would be poured over it and set alight. The brandy would evaporate off fairly quickly, but it was also a way of demonstrating that no expense had been spared.
It is also traditional that there is a sprig of holly in the top of the pudding as it is served. This idea pre-dates the pudding itself. Evergreen plants were brought into the house to remind everyone of the spring to come and showed that there was still life, even in the depths of winter.
Many of these traditions hark back to the days when the whole festival was about encouraging the light to return. The flaming brandy on the cake, the tinsel, the lights in the tree. One delightful story about the origin of tinsel regards the Holy Family, who, fleeing from Herod, hid in a cave. A spider worked through the night, spinning a web across the entrance of the cave, so that Herod’s soldiers assumed that no one could be in there, and left the cave alone. That holy spider web was turned into silver, and our modern tinsel represents it.
May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch on your door, and happiness be guided to your home by the light of Christmas.
By Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCHN, BCIH
As with most, our family has traditional holiday foods we look forward to, on Christmas eve my mother would serve oyster stew, and on new year’s it was black-eyed peas and ham for good luck. Others in my family may have made tamales like my great aunt, using her mother’s recipes. All of us have foods that inspire warm memories or tears; it is food that invokes memories through taste, smell and color. Without a doubt we are proud of our American rights, but we also use the holidays to remember who came before us and what gifts they brought with them that flavor the season.
The cake like consistency of gingerbread bears little resemblance to bread, it was originally, in the thirteenth century, gingerbras, a word borrowed from Old French which meant ‘preserved ginger’. But by the mid-fourteenth century,…-bread had begun to replace -bras, and it was only a matter of time before sense followed form. (sorry I can’t help but laugh as I know a few of you will have way to much fun with the bras …hohoho) One of the earliest known recipes comes from the early fifteenth-century cookery book Good Cookery, and directs gingerbread be made with breadcrumbs boiled in honey with ginger and other spices. 
“…most early American cookies were referred to as “cakes,” and gingerbread was assumed to be a form of cookie, as in Lebkuchen, a gingerbread cookie made with honey…Of all the Christmas pastries, the gingerbread cookie was the most loved by early American children. In American cookery, there are two distinct families of gingerbread cookies, the honey-based gingerbreads of Middle European origin–mostly Germany–and the molasses shortbreads that developed in England or Scotland. The other developed in the late seventeenth century, using molasses as a substitute for honey…The Germans in this country were the best honey cake bakers–they called the cookies Lebkuchen.”
According to food historians, mincemeat pie dates back to Medieval times. In the Middle Ages and into Renaissance times and beyond it was commonplace to spice up or eke out meat with dried fruit, and it seems likely that the earliest mincepies contained a generous measure of such raisins, and currants. The recipe did, indeed, include meat as did the mincemeat I grew up with; my mother would only use venison and suet; today I leave out the suet and dried fruit and use thickened apple juice, sliced apples, blueberries and currents. It also often contained dried fruits, sugar, and spices, as was the tradition of the day. The distinction between mincemeat and mince was drawn in the mid-nineteenth century when meat began disappearing from the recipe, leaving the fruit, nut, sugar, spice, brandy and suet product we know today.
Fish (including shellfish) plays a critical role throughout the Christian calendar. “Meatless” day/periods were proscribed from ancient times forward for practical reasons: they regulated small early meat supplies and unified church members. For traditional Catholics in most countries, Christmas Eve, as with Lent, features fish. In Italy, the traditional Christmas Eve table features Seven Fishes. Baccala (salt cod). Oyster Stew is part of the Irish Christmas Eve tradition. Oyster dishes of all sorts are regularly found on French tables so it is conceivable that oyster stew is a French tradition also with Northern French cuisine features many creamy, butter soups and stews. Until recently (last half of the 20th century forwards), oysters were commonly consumed, especially by people living close to ocean shores.
On Christmas Eve, many ethnic cultures enjoy seafood to save their appetites for Christmas Day dinner, according to food historian John Mariani. But oyster stew also is uniquely Celtic because it is a holiday connection to the old country — an Irish-American adaptation of a traditional Christmas Eve stew that was made in Ireland with a chewy Atlantic fish called ling. The ling was stewed with milk (or buttermilk), parsley, salt and pepper because it was tough. It was similar in texture and flavor to the prized oysters that were an autumn delicacy of the Irish gentry.
When the Irish began flocking to North America during the Great Potato Famine, during the 1840s and 1850s, they couldn’t find ling in American fish markets. So they picked oysters to remind them of their families and Ireland on Christmas Eve. Americans, in general, were “oyster mad” in the 1800s, according to Mariani. Oysters were plentiful and were a big part of urban life, especially in East Coast cities where hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants settled.
The name egg nog and recipes for it first appear in print in the 17th century. Food historians confirm English recipes for posset (esp. sack posset) were very similar to later egg nog a popular and accepted American term to denote an old traditional English holiday beverage. “By the mid-1760s patrons were drinking eggnog, juleps, sling and sanger in addition to the punch and toddy already available.”
In 1796, “Rich and creamy dessert drinks, such as eggnog and syllabub, reflect the English heritage in America, especially in the South. In England posset was a hot drink in which the white and yolk of eggs were whipped with ale, cider, or wine. Americans adapted English recipes to produce a variety of milk-based drinks that combined rum, brandy, or whiskey with cream. The first written reference to eggnog was an account of a February 1796 breakfast at the City Tavern in Philadelphia. Beginning in 1839 American cookbooks included recipes for cold eggnogs of cream, sugar, and eggs combined with brandy, rum, bourbon, or sherry, sprinkled with nutmeg. Southerners enjoyed a mix of peach brandy, rum, and whiskey.”
The earliest reference to eggnog cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1825. The beverage is defined as “A drink in which the white and yolk of eggs are stirred up with hot beer, wine, or spirits.”
‘Nollaig faoi shéan is faoi shonas duit.’
A prosperous and Happy Christmas to You.
 An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 142)
 The Christmas Cook, William Woys Weaver [Harper Perennial:New York] 1990(p. 102-4)
A Very Merry Christmas to all and Blessings in the New Year
 An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 214)
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
I made the mistake of checking the news – are you ready? It all started with my receiving the October LifeExtention magazine (lef.org) and reading William Faloon’s article on “How Regulation of Medicine is Bankrupting the United States”. Next came an insightful conversation with my Aunt, we should all learn from our elders.
During this conversation we talked about how the “New Deal” put into place by FDR had its good points and bad – but no matter how we shake the tree – we are now paying for the New Deal, that is no deal. Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security and Welfare are just a few ingredients in the rotten apple dish being fed to us. And all of them are being mismanaged by congress – If you or I managed company funds the way congress does we would be in jail for miss-appropriation and fraud.
Another organization worthy of mention is Alliance for Natural Health USA (anh-usa.org), along with LifeExtention, ANH has been whistle blowing on the hypocrisies of congress and the FDA for years now.
William Faloon’s book called “Pharmocracy” (available through LifeExtention Foundation), outlines the cost of over-regulation of prescription drugs and the growing cost to the Medicare system. Here are some of the numbers that made me set-up and take notice. The most recent estimate of Medicare’s unfunded medical liability is $24.6 trillion. The total federal tax revenues taken in annually which include Medicare premiums are around $2 trillion. This means the Medicare trust fund will be bankrupt five years sooner than projected twelve months ago.
As the short sightedness of our federal government is so apt to do, it is not taking into account the skyrocketing costs for drugs approved by the FDA, they are currently costing around $100,000 per patient. Lady’s and gentlemen, while you have been distracted by the puppet show – you have been robbed. “We have all been deceived by those who confuse regulation with beneficial outcome and medical progress”, writes William Faloon in his October commentary. It is not about how a regulation will protect the public, but of how it can financially benefit a special interest.
Pharmacutical companies have spent tens of millions of dollars persuading the FDA to re-classify nutrients like B6 as prescription drugs for their economic benefit. With the re-writing of FDA guidelines and the implementation of CODEX in 2012, hang on, because you are about to be robbed at gun point, instead of your pockets picked artfully. The artificially inflated cost of prescription drugs driven by pharmaceutical companies and the FDA , could easily cost the Medicare system over $300 billion each year for one bio-Identical hormone like testosterone that benefits millions of older men in America, and available through compounding pharmacists for a fraction of the cost of the approved drug company versuion.
The ANH, reported on the FDA’s sudden ban of bio-identical hormone estriol in January 2008, “the FDA issued several warning letters to compounding pharmacists prohibiting the compounding of medications with estriol—a bio-identical estrogen produced naturally by a woman’s body—unless the pharmacist has a valid investigational new drug application on file with the FDA. This action was simultaneous to the FDA’s response to a Citizen Fair Trade Petition filed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the synthetic hormone replacement drugs Premarin and Prempro. This action was not about safety to the public but about the all-mighty dollar and who was getting it.
In March 2011, ANH again reported on the “efforts of the FDA to stop compounding pharmacists from making the bio-identical hormone progesterone, approved over fifty years ago — which doctors have been prescribing for patients with high-risk pregnancies — 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (progesterone) was designated by the FDA an “orphan drug.” Now KV Pharmaceutical has been given the exclusive right of production and sale (and drug trial tax breaks). They immediately raised the price from $10 per dose to $1,500—simply because they could”.
This newest FDA brain fart has doctors, US senators, and even the March of Dimes in an uproar! Besides the grave jeopardy placed on mothers and their infants, this will create an enormous financial burden for health insurance companies, private citizens, and government programs pay for care. And because of increased birth complications, these babies will need to be hospitalized for perhaps months and, for low-income mothers, all at the expense of taxpayers. Research shows these children will be at greater risk for, asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia, running the bill needlessly up for tax payers even higher.
The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) authorizes the FDA to collect fees from companies, allegedly to fund and expedite the drug approval process….Really are you sure? The law enacted in 1992, is due for renewal September 2012. According to the FDA, drug companies provide fully 60% of the FDA’s drug review costs—which means the FDA’s review and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs is largely funded by the drug companies under review.
The FDA has been negotiating a raise in the FDA “user” fees since July 2010; in fact, Big Pharma has already agreed to a 6% increase in fees for new drugs through 2017. The increase is expected to produce an additional $40.4 million in user fee revenue in fiscal 2012, bringing the fiscal 2013 total to $712.8 million. (snide remark not printable)
If any of this makes you wonder like it has me, I encourage you to join either or both of the watch dog organizations I’ve mentioned in this article. Remember none of us are entitled to anything but death – and it appears our government is more than willing to make sure it is a paupers grave waiting for us.
To your good health
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, CNC, BCIH, CNW, CNH
When it comes to health freedom and the encroachment on our rights from an agency we automatically think of the FDA, but in truth they are nothing more than puppet giving a performance. It is through the workings of less visible groups funded by large multinational corporations quietly driving the movement within the private sector, state and federal governments, that are the true danger. Groups like the American Dietetic Association, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill lobbing to change state laws eliminate the ability of licensed healthcare practitioners and nutritional counselors to provide dietary, nutrition and lifestyle counseling.
This year’s National Association for Nutritional Professionals (NANP) conference (2011) provided me with information exposing the hidden agenda of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA a national group has over 70,000 members made up primarily of white women with bachelor degrees.
Any time a national organization is primarily funded through international corporations there is an agenda, an agenda that promotes an industry, not necessarily health or health freedom. Many in the holistic nutrition field and proactive minded dietitians believe the ADA is systematically working to take away the rights of practitioners, nutraceutical companies and consumers in the area of nutritional counseling. Practitioners who are recognized and credible are receiving “cease and desist” orders in Hawaii, and N. Carolina. Current legislation is being debated in California, Nevada, New York and Minnesota, with 36 other states already having dietetic laws in place, but not fully enforced or activated.
We are not talking about individuals working out of nutrition stores or promoting for multi level marketing companies….many of which are well educated consumers. We are instead talking about individuals who are chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritional counselors, authors, educators and massage therapists with years of nutrition training, education and national credentials.
I know there are many very dedicated and excellent registered dietitians (RD) out there who appalled by this trend. Within the ADA there are two groups of forward thinking RD’s trying to bring about change from within the ADA, they are: Dietitians in Integrative & Functional Medicine and Health and Environmental Nutrition. The ADA does not currently follow or recognize CAM, integrative or functional medicine trends, laws or apparently nutrition science and research.
Who are Nutrition Professionals?
- Registered Dietitian (only one recognized by the ADA)
- Public Health Nutritionist
- Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Nutrition Specialist
- Diplomat American Clinical Board Nutrition
- Certified Nutritionist, Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition Counselor, Health Educator
Of the ADA 70, 000 members they are 96% female, 88% white 50% BS, 46% MS, 4% PhD
These Registered Dietitians work primarily for 41% non-profit, 30% for-profit, 20% government and 8% are self-employed.
Of the eight percent that are self employed it works out that less that 2% of those are working in the field of integrative health providing information to private cliental.
Why is the ADA “in bed” with purveyors of corporate junk foods, corporate agriculture and drug companies? These companies provide huge influxes in funding for the organization – protecting their market share and interests by training nutrition scientists’ who follow the party line on nutrition through chemicals. It is as simple as follow the money.
For those of us in states with dietitian licensure laws we need to be clear on what those laws say, and work to repeal them. The “Unspoken Purpose” of Dietitian Licensure Laws: Insurance Reimbursement, Monopoly of nutrition field, Suppression of CAM, Excessive Regulation, Regulatory Laws in US. Be aware the state dietetic boards are composed of professional RD’s and public members (public members are hand-picked from the food service industry i.e. Lunchroom workers for schools and hospitals or corporate industry reps from franchise food vendors)
The Spring 2010 Michigan Dietetic Association publication printed the following message from the President Tonia Reinhard, MS, RD “The licensure committee is currently establishing the rules and regulations. MDA received some national insight on how we can best proceed to ensure that our scope of practice is not infringed upon by inadequately trained wannabes”
SOME NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT ADVOCATE FOR “HEALTH FREEDOM”
Alliance for Natural Health USA www.anh-usa.org
Citizens for Health www.citizens.org
National Health Freedom Action www.nationalhealthfreedom.org
Natural Solutions Foundation www.healthfreedomusa.org
Health Freedom Alliance www.healthfreedoms.org
I have invested 14 years into my education, and continue to pursue continuing education for the benefit of myself and my clientele. I know there is a lot I don’t know, however arrogant comments like those posted on many of the RD sites I reviewed make my blood boil. Every practitioner I have ever worked with or met strives to be professional, and diligent about scope of practice. Restriction in trade of this kind is far from beneficial to clients, practitioners or business. When we review the statistics it is still safer to use integrative health approaches over old fashioned allopathic models. Contrary to the ADA, Coke is not good for your health.
To Your Good Health and Health Freedom
By Tammera J. Karr, Ph.D, BCIH, CNC, CNW, CNH
Back in the Stone Age when I was in sixth grade (1976) the health nurse would bring in a bottle of fluoride rinse for each of the students to use after lunch. I lasted about three applications, went home and told my mom it was making me sick. Mom loved nothing more than to wade into popular topics with unpopular ideas…. Needless to say I was excused from fluoride treatments. Today I now know I wasn’t alone in this, my body knew a poison when it saw one.
In 2005, I read Christopher Bryson’s book, “the Fluoride Deception”, and learned just how dangerous this dental cavity cure is. Every dentist should be required to read this book before they hand out what the Fluoride Action Network, Dr. Mercola and others, call government sanctioned rat poison for children. Check it out yourself at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/ and http://www.mercola.com
Fluoridation was first advanced in the U.S. at the end of the Second World War. In September of 1955, Martin vs. Reynolds made national headlines as the first class action lawsuit in America. Paul Martin a Troutdale Oregon rancher took RJ Reynolds to court over the loss of his health, his family’s and the loss of his livestock herd from fluoride poisoning. Martin’s case stunned corporate America, until then no U.S. court had ruled that industrial fluoride emissions caused harm to humans. Reynolds Metals was joined in court by six aluminum and chemical companies, including Monsanto and Alcoa.
Dr. Donald Hunter, one of England’s leading medical authorities, was presented as Martin’s medical expert. Dr Hunter told the Portland, Oregon jurors and judge; “fluorine compounds are deadly poisons to mammalian tissues, and man is a mammal just as much as a cow or sheep”, he explained. Fluoride is so dangerous, Hunter said, “because it is an enzyme poison and without enzymes you have no life”.
However, big business has deep pockets and resources to insure an industry was developed for the disposal of their toxic poison. During the decades which followed, fluoride was added to public water supplies across the country, due to advocacy that fluoride in water and toothpaste would protect teeth and prevent decay.
While the benefits of fluoridation have been held to be unquestionable, accumulating evidence points to a frightening prospect: that fluoride may have serious adverse health effects, including infant mortality, congenital defects and diminished IQ.
Advocates of fluoridated water insist that the chemical additive is good for teeth, but actual science routinely shows otherwise, including a new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association confirming fluoride as a toxic substance that actually destroys teeth, particularly those of developing young children and babies.
Elevated levels of fluoride in the blood lower the availability of calcium to the body, which can impair cardiac function; “the elastic properties of the ascending aorta are impaired in patients with endemic fluorosis. Thus sub-acute exposures to fluoride may manifest as cardiac dysfunction, potentially increasing future risks of cardiac-related problems”. (Science of the Total Environment 408(11): 2295-2298)
- Fluoride increases serum lead concentrations
- Bone strength decreases with increasing bone fluoride level.
- Over-consumption of fluoride is an issue of concern worldwide, as fluoride has been linked to adverse health effects such as dental fluorosis, reduced thyroid function, weakened bones, skeletal fluorosis, and reduced intelligence.
- Despite repeated warnings that humans, particularly children, are currently receiving too much fluoride from their diets, fluoride pesticides continue to be added to the food supply under extremely lax regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Inverse association between urine fluoride levels and IQ: a 0.59-point decrease in IQ was observed for each 1 mg/L increase in urine fluoride. Sun D. 2010
Currently, the main fluoride pesticide used in the U.S. is cryolite (sodium aluminum fluoride). The EPA currently allows up to 7 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride on over 30 fruits and vegetables. This applies to: apricots, beets, blackberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus fruits, collards, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, kale, lettuce, melons, nectarines, peaches, peppers, plums, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, squash, strawberries, tomatoes and turnip. A standard of 2 ppm has also been established for potatoes, which are second to grapes for total cryolite usage.
In the United States, the primary source of ingested fluoride is fluoridated water, including that used in the preparation of foods and other beverages. For many infants, formula is a major source of nutrition, and this formula is often reconstituted with fluoridated tap water. The concentration of fluoride in infant formulas reconstituted with “optimally” fluoridated water is up to 200 times greater than that found in breast milk.
Researchers found fluoride in chicken products frequently eaten by children but not listed on labels, e.g. pureed chicken, chicken sticks, and luncheon meat made with mechanically-separated chicken. Fluoride-containing bone-dust invariably gets into the finished product. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry September, 2001).(3)
Commonly-consumed infant fruit juices contain fluoride, some at levels higher than recommended for public water supplies which can damage teeth, according to research to be presented on March 17, 2011 at the International Association for Dental Research annual meeting in San Diego. “Children who consume excessive amounts of juice per day may be ingesting more fluoride than the recommended daily intake.”
“WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.” FDA Mandated Warning on Fluoride Toothpaste Labels Sold in U.S.
“The early recommendations concerning ‘optimal levels’ of fluoride in water have not been reviewed since [water fluoridation began], despite developments which could drastically alter the underlying assumption that fluoride intake from sources other than drinking water is relatively low. Also, dehydrated and reconstituted food products, virtually unknown to consumers in the 1940s when most of the fluoride surveys were done, are today commonplace. As a result, although orange juice and potatoes are inherently poor sources of fluoride, this is no longer so if they have been concentrated and reconstituted with fluoridated water.” – Prival M, Fisher F. (1974). Adding Fluorides to the Diet. Environment 16(5): 29-33.
“ The FDA should examine the testing and labeling of [juices and sodas] with respect to fluoride concentration so that practitioners and consumers can make an informed choice. Thorough washing of grapes should occur to eliminate any insecticide contamination of the juice. Manufacturers and bottlers should identify sources of fluoride within their products, and when necessary, reduce fluoride content to age-appropriate levels, as recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.” - Stannard JG, et al. (1991). Fluoride levels and fluoride contamination of fruit juices. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry 16(1):38-40.
“[W]e recommend that dentists who are considering prescribing dietary fluoride supplements for those with non-fluoridated water inquire about young children’s fluoride exposure from all important sources, including dentrifice, infant formula (type, brand, and quantity), water (sources, quantities and filtration system) and beverages (including specific juices and juice-flavored drinks).” - Kiritsy MC, et al. (1996). Assessing fluoride concentrations of juices and juice-flavored drinks. Journal of the American Dental Association 127(7):895-902.
Back in the 1940’s folks were not eating at MacDonald’s, Taco Bell, or easy to heat microwavable prepackaged foods. A carrot was from the garden or local truck farm, the milk was from a dairy close by and Mom made the bread.
When we eat real foods, from locally owned growers, the inherent dangers to our health decline.
To your fluoride free good health!