by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCHN, CDSP, CNW, CGP
Over the years, clients have asked many questions, but the questions on cookware safety seldom come up. It is generally the clinician interviewing the client that most frequently asks the question about what kind of cookware was in use. Now with the internet and social media, questions like – “Are nonstick pans toxic?” “Can aluminum cookware cause dementia?” “Are my dishes full of lead?” and “Are my scratched pans still safe?” seem to be everywhere. Frequently, the responses and answers are based on outdated information. So if you are shopping for new kitchenware and are uncertain, begin by reading the chapter Gizmos and Gadgets for the Kitchen page 51, in Our Journey with Food Cookery Book 2nd edition, you’ll find there’s a wide range of choices in cookware material; such as cast iron, stainless steel, copper, glass, and ceramic. By and large, they are all safe when purchased in a mindful manner. Keep in mind when it comes to cookware, your experience, comfort, and enjoyment of “all things cooking” is determined by the quality of the tools you use.
What tools are selected will depend on the type of cook you are, your kitchen area, and your level of experience. Not on the health risks from the tools used. As someone who cooks inside, outside, on an electric range, gas stove, barbeque, and wood fire, I can assure you the heat-producing surface determines what pot or pan is used as much as the quality. World over, individuals prepair meals each day in cookware Americans would refuse to use – yet America and other western cultures have skyrocketing dementia numbers.
In 1965, scientists discovered that feeding rabbits very high levels of aluminum produced changes in the rabbits’ brains resembling Alzheimer’s. This was later proven to be incorrect. Aluminum is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, plants, fish, and animals. Aluminum plays a role in cell formation, especially skin cells. Broccoli, a proven health food, also contains aluminum. So what about the argument over organic and inorganic aluminum? To be honest, most of us are guessing and relying on theory and interpretation. Aluminum cookware has been in use since 1807. Just like cast iron; aluminum is released from pans when acidic foods are cooked. The acidic properties of food interact with the metal affecting the protective coating or finish on the cookware. Lightweight aluminum is an excellent heat conductor and highly reactive with acidic foods like tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus juice. Such items can cause aluminum to leach into food, imparting a metallic taste and leaving the cookware with a pitted surface. These are the same foods that leach iron from cast iron and can damage poor-quality stainless steel.
There have also been reports aluminum is present in the brains of people with dementia and Alzheimers. This can be found in the early work done on Alzheimer’s when an autopsy was the sole avenue of determining Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Now with the availability of CAT and MRI scans, the location, development, and the “cause” is far more complex than one thing. Overall health plays a role, including diet, diabetes, the microbiome of the mouth, the environment and genetics. A groundbreaking text by Russell L. Blaylock, MD, in 1997 called Excitotoxins, revealed the damage to brain cells when MSG and Aspartame, along with naturally occurring glutamates in high levels, are present in the diet. These chemicals affect the cell’s ability to regulate fluid, resulting in the cells bursting and leaving behind trace minerals like aluminum. While this research has been pushed to the shadows in favor of designer therapies, it still has value. Over the last 3 decades, research on Alzheimer’s has linked a wide range of causes, only to be disproved and only looking at the brain as a single organ, not part of an amazingly complex life form. Today we face a new paradigm in Alzheimer’s research linking oral bacteria and its effect on tao proteins. Now the question has changed to a different “what if”.
Lifestyle may be your biggest protector.
The tools we use for the preparation of food are important, but they are only one element of our lifestyle that supports well-being and longevity. When we narrow our focus to one thing as a cause, we also miss dozens, if not thousands, of other elements contributing to health. A narrow point of view assumes everyone is affected by a potential toxin or gene expression in the same way. Yet, as our technology opens the window to more information, research finds our bodies are capable of achieving homeostasis even under extreme challenges. Our bodies have been living with heavy metals and naturally occurring toxins from the beginning. When an individual cultivates well-being from a broader perspective, incorporating all aspects of nourishment- risks diminish along with the burden, confusion, and fear over what kind of food, cookware, water, air, or medicine to use.
In our book Empty Plate: Food~Sustainability~Mindfulness; Kathleen Bell and I share volumes of science supporting how our daily lifestyle choices make the difference in disease rates and longevity. A literature review expands the concept of nourishment and how more than food is necessary for health.
Expanding the definition of nourishment to include lifestyle and environmental sources beyond diet.
Tammera Karr, PhD, BCHN™, CNW®, and Kathleen Bell, RN, MSN, CNM, AHN-BC™
National Association of Nutrition Professionals and American Holistic Nurses Association
Published February 13, 2022
The purpose of this literature review is to expand the limitations of the common scientific definition of Nourishment to a broader holistic understanding relating to health. Is Nourishment limited to nutrients extracted through digestion? Or does Nourishment also include elements ingested from exposures to environment, culture, beliefs, social, connections, wavelengths, and smells as well as calories? To Nourish is to provide food or other substances necessary for growth, health and well-being. Well-being is a positive outcome that is meaningful for people and society. The authors demonstrate evidence that food alone is not sufficient to sustain human health and vitality.
Nutrients in food become information and control aspects of human biology and physiology, but Nourishment is not derived solely from food, Nourishment enters the body through multiple pathways. For example: Research shows that taste develops in the womb before birth as the fetus is introduced to foods the mother consumes. Fetal growth and development proceeds without the physical ingestion of foodstuffs; Nourishment is provided through the mother. Additional research illustrates health of both mother and child are affected by multi-faceted environmental, cultural, and biochemical factors.
Wellness can be viewed as an active process of becoming aware of (mindfulness) and making choices that support the dynamism required to maintain homeostasis. Holistic health and well-being are outcomes of constant interaction between and among many dimensions of human life. Balance is achieved via devoting significant attention to each of the interrelated elements that comprise Nourishment. Lack of attention to one or more of these elements results in imbalances that may lead to deterioration and disease. By redefining the concept of Nourishment the reviewers’ intention is to illuminate the deficiencies of remaining within the confines of a reductionist paradigm, and to highlight possibilities available in the quantum era for persons to develop and regenerate health.
From this abstract, we have now written a full paper due to be published in the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Newspaper through Pacific College of Health and Science.
by Tammera J. Karr
The 21st century has presented us with more than one challenger to our health. How can it be that what is seemingly innocent or benign factors could be the cause of so many health problems? Modern innovation has provided us with countless tools and conveniences that make our jobs and lives easier. The unintended consequences of innovation can be more plastic trash, fractured time, and industrial denatured foods. How do we take out the trash both figuratively and physically without driving ourselves and others, around the bend? I look back at what was the normal before …. Which often was simple, affordable solutions to everyday needs.
Our most proactive and sustainable changes for our health involve adding more vegetables and removing 300 calories a day.
Here is one example: I have a client who is a truck driver. He tries to eat as best he can on the road five days a week, but there is not much selection in truck stops. He tries to make some food he can take with him, but he only has a tiny refrigerator and no real way to cook on the road.
Solutions: Incorporate a shake once a day with freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders. 12-volt blenders make smoothie mixes palatable, or blended coffees. The freeze-dried blends add in greater nutrient variety; they also can be used as a touch of seasoning flavor, provided they do not contain protein powders or other flavorings like strawberry and chocolate.
He plans 2 hours on a day off to make up small airtight containers with raw vegetables, nuts, and fruit. It is much easier to eat a handful of sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, turnip, broccoli stems or yam slices than to stop and peal or try and eat whole. I recommend the glass Snapware brand because they seal tight and, they do not leak. Our experience has been the glass containers fit easily in a small soft-sided cooler and work in a HotLogic. Experience has shown us foods hold up in these containers in the fridge or cooler for 3-4 days.
Hard-boiled eggs in the shell, canned chicken, pork, beef or fish like sardines and salmon are easy proteins. The eggs are good in a small refrigerator or cooler with plenty of ice for three-four days. The low sodium canned meats do not require refrigeration and can be used with convenience store salads, rye crackers, or a loaf of hearty bread: pre-cook brown rice or red potatoes add more variety.
Next my client purchased a small HotLogic portable food warmer. Before heading down the road, he uses the prepped vegetables in their glass dish, a small sliced potato, one can of meat, with liquid, and plugs into the 12-volt outlet on his dash. In 2-3 hours, he has a meal hot and ready to eat when he fuels up or parks.
For this individual spending, a little time prepping for the coming week and investing in a couple of small appliances meant he dropped 400 calories a day without having to think about it or go hungry. He increased his vegetable consumption and found he passed up chips and snacks because he wasn’t craving them or fighting sleep. On his weekends, he enjoys eating with his family or friends’ guilt-free.
The increase in vegetables in his daily routine does more than act as fuel; they provide valuable fiber for removing harmful chemicals. They feed our brain for cognition, support healthy blood sugar, build the microbiome supporting our immune systems, remove excess cholesterol, and sodium while providing potassium and magnesium for heart health.
All we have to do is think back to times before, prepackaged processed foods, and fried convenience foods from gas stations. While those foods are easy, they are also at the heart of America’s growing health problems. Do you remember – Lunches of fried chicken, cold steak and potatoes, meatloaf, bread and butter, apples, carrots, tomatoes, biscuits and meat pies, and Stanly lunch boxes?
Returning to Real Foods for health.
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by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
Over the two weeks, I have heard countless clients complain over the time change. The following days have been the land of zombies in some folks minds. Additionally, spring is upon us and with that; tree, grass and flower pollen. Spring is a time of rebirth, and rebounding energy, or at least the energy is supposed to bounce back into our lives. But what if it doesn’t? Some individuals may feel like spring energy has passed them by and they are permanent members of the zombie community.
Spring is a perfect time to fast. Countless faith communities practice fasting during the days preceding Easter, other cultures practice fasting as a regular part of their diet. Today we have research on the benefits of fasting for brain and neurological health. Spring is also a perfect time to clean house in the o’l liver. Traditionally Spring brings with it bitter greens that help with detoxing and purifying the liver and blood. Along with fasting, we have foods designed by the creator to restore energy and health while improving brain function; clearing the fog, fatigue, and depression of zombie land away.
Brain food is a terrific example of what we can do every day and with every meal to change not only how smart we are but how likely we are to develop age-related brain dysfunction. Cultures throughout the world incorporate food into their “health care plan” since most of these countries have socialized medicine it is in the governments best interest to encourage “wellness care” versus “disease management.”
Spring Greens – dark bitter greens such as dandelion, kale, mustard, collard, endive, chickory, and spinach are all considered “bitter greens” and provide nutrients that improve liver and gallbladder function – even when you do not have a gall bladder, bitter greens improve pancreas function and bile production for improved digestion.
Blueberries—Research has found blueberries can reverse age-related declines in motor function, balance, and coordination. Blueberries have compounds that boost neuron signals and help turn back on systems in the brain that can lead to using other proteins to help with memory or other cognitive skills.
Wild Caught Fish— Researchers in 2011, reported people who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week may be protecting their brains from Alzheimer’s and other brain degenerative conditions.
Coffee—Regular coffee drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other mental disorders. Coffee appears to increase blood levels of a factor associated with improved cognitive function in Alzheimer’s.
Caffeinated coffee has also been associated with protection against Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s. A study of 29,000 individuals found one to four cups daily decreased the risk of Parkinson’s by 47% and 5 or more cups reduced the risk by 60%.
Nuts— walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans, contain properties that help with everything from fighting insomnia to promoting mental clarity and sharp memory. Walnuts are rich in fatty acids while almonds contain natural mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.
Eggs—Yes I know the news told you researchers are back to saying eggs are bad for you – once again we are encountering faulty or bad research modules that lead to bad science. Egg yolks are rich in choline, an essential nutrient to improving memory function. B vitamins are a must for brain health, if you can’t eat eggs or don’t have a good free-range source for them, take a whole food B-complex.
Chocolate—Dark chocolate is magnesium and antioxidant-rich, it also improves focus and concentration. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, enhances memory and reaction time. (for you Marilyn, you can say ha to you know who now…)
Broccoli—Broccoli has been shown to improve memory function as well as slow the aging process. Broccoli is one of the most protective foods known to researchers today, it has been shown to activate more cell receptor sites – protecting your health, than any other single food next to pomegranates, and turmeric.
So there you have it the cure for zombie land and the time change is at your local farmers market or produce section. The more nutrient-dense foods incorporated into your diet, the better your energy and your allergies will be, then spring will have you bouncing like the lambs in the field.
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people
under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson
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by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
Our story begins with three men, heads together on a street corner, one wealthy and dripping with power, the next puffed chest, ingratiating smile and impotent and the last an obvious thug, muscle for hire. Down the walk enters a woman who looks at the world through rose-colored glasses, all is right, nary a problem. The thug steps away from his companions and escorts her away. She laughs and smiles as he tells her he will keep her safe and he knows best; All the while looking back over his shoulder to the other men, who nod in agreement. The thug takes her home and hands her a drink; she accepts is and drinks it without a word of concern. She is found dead the next day; it is deemed natural causes — a tragedy.
While this could be from a western novel, it more closely resembles a gritty Clint Eastwood seen; our actors are the Pharmaceutical manufactures (wealth), The Politics of the land (the impotent), the state service programs (the Thug) and Rosy Vision (our rights). The Poison for many comes not in a glass but a syringe filled with vaccines.
Real life: There is tremendous controversy over childhood vaccinations, once again legislation is about to be forced on parents in Oregon and Washington that strips vaccination exemption. Exclusion laws already exist in Oregon if an outbreak occurs, so why do we need a draconian law, that can lead to a loss of revenue for schools? It is estimated that 31,000 children in Oregon have exemptions if they are removed from the school systems; it could equal a loss of $412,920,000.00 annually. All of this has resurfaced from a similar bill in 2015 due to a measles outbreak predominately in Washington state.
Over the years, I have gotten hepatitis and tetanus shots before overseas travel. The difference here is, I am an adult, I am capable of determining if the risks outweighed the benefits. After our son made it through his first years of public school and it was time for booster shots, we as his parents evaluated the risks after many hours researching and praying we had a waiver signed for the school district. Keep in mind the number of vaccinations in the 1990s was considerably less than the number my grandson will be receiving this year.
The story will be very different in Oregon if House Bill 3063 and those that follow it – restrict/hinder parental choice over immunization. Not many people are willing to do a face off with a healthcare practitioner over cholesterol medication let alone a vaccine series for a child. Oregon’s bill would eliminate religious and personal or philosophical exemptions for all vaccines, a move intended to boost the state’s vaccination rate.
Lawmakers who support the bill say parents can still choose not to vaccinate — however; they will have to homeschool or find ways for children to go to school online. Isn’t this discrimination? What about low-income families who have a family history of autism or ADHD? If we make legal allowances for everyone else with a “special need” why are those not willing to vaccinate any different? Are they really a threat to public safety as stated by politicians? Whenever we cite science, we need to be sure of who paid for the science – and who is getting paid for citing it. How did we ever survive these normal and natural childhood illnesses before?
The cyclical outbreak of measles in the Pacific Northwest has prompted hundreds of additional residents to vaccinate this year over past years. I would like to point out it was a free choice, not a mandate.
School and state workers will and do believe they are working to protect children; Many families will choose vaccination because they believe in the system – which is their right. For others, they will make their choices based on beliefs, research, and medical history – which up until now has been their right. Ohh and just because you do not believe the science cited does not mean it is fake – it just means it is not following the politically correct party line.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen a bill that endorses vaccine instead of education,” said Rep. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, as he testified against the bill.”
Is this just a state issue? As I write this article, I have learned of a federal move to restrict medical freedom. “If states don’t tighten vaccine exemption laws, the federal government may step in, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said February 21, 2019”.
“Some states are engaging in such wide exemptions that they’re creating the opportunity for outbreaks on a scale that is going to have national implications,” the FDA head said in an interview with CNN.”
Lets put this in perspective; According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
In 2018, 372 cases of measles were reported in the U.S.. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, 2019, 127 cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states.
Each year in the United States, about 1 million people have to seek care in a hospital due to pneumonia. The CDC says about 50,000 people die from the disease each year in the United States. Most of the people affected by pneumonia in the United States are adults.
I believe families should have the right to choose; I am not an anti-vaccinator anymore than I am a pro-vaccinator. My issue is about a local or federal government who takes money from pharmaceutical companies, mandating medical decisions. That is a conflict of interest and collusion.
To Freedom of Choice.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
Many of us grew up seeing parsley as the attractive green garnish on dinner plates. The vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Parsley is so much more than a pretty garnish or filler plant in the garden. Rarely as a youngster, did I see anyone actually eat this green or grow it in their gardens. Parsley was something reserved for fancy restaurant food. The unpopularity of this herb may be because of the ancient folklore associated with parsley and eastern Oregon being heavily settled by Irish, Welsh and Scottish emigrants. Add to this the herb has a reputation of being hard to grow from seed and propagate in gardens; traditionally mankind has attached vile forewarning s or stigma to foods that fell into the difficult to keep alive category.
‘Welsh parsley is a good physic’ – ‘Welsh parsley’ signified the gallows rope. In Surrey and in other southern English counties it was said, “Where parsley’s grown in the garden, there’ll be a death before the year’s out.”
While certainly not as dramatic as a death sentence, it was believed if someone cut parsley that they would be later crossed in love. in Hampshire, peasants feared giving away any parsley as it would bring ill-luck upon them. In Suffolk, it was thought sowing Parsley seed on Good Friday would ensure the herb coming up “double.” 
Originally, parsley came from Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean (Turkey, Algeria, Sardinia, and Lebanon). The herb has been cultivated since ancient times and was widely grown in most parts of Europe. Today, the plant is extensively used as a spice and cultivated all over the world.
The parsley leaves are best during the plant’s first year, and they can be picked at any time during the growing season. The leaves can be dried or kept frozen for later use. The root is collected in the autumn in the first year or in the spring of the second year of the plant’s life cycle. It should be used fresh, but can also be stored as other root vegetables, preferably in a cold place. 
Parsley contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits. The first type is volatile oil components—including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. The second type is flavonoids—including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin.
Along with flavonoids (apiin), parsley contains glucosides, phthalide, furanocoumarins, carotenoids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and E, and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sulfur, copper and manganese. Studies have shown that vitamin K is vital in bone formation, protects against osteoporosis and is very beneficial for the circulatory system and the nervous system. 
Five grams of parsley covers the daily requirement of vitamin A, and 25 grams of the fresh herb cover the daily requirement of vitamin C. Parsley is an excellent source of dietary fiber and calcium which makes it a good option for those who are dairy free.  Some studies have suggested parsley may limit the harmful effects of carcinogenic substances. This is probably due to the chlorophyll content.
Parsley increases the secretion of digestive fluids improving digestion, better-quality nutrient uptake, and reduces gas. It may also be used as a remedy for colic and digestive pain for those with IBS and Crohns.
Parsley is a effective diuretic and has been used to treat fluid retention (edema) and to speed up the elimination of harmful toxins. German doctors, who are known to use medicinal herbs to great extent, often recommend a tea made from the seeds as a treatment for high blood pressure. 
Beta-carotene found in parsley works in the fat-soluble areas of the body. Diets with beta-carotene-rich foods are associated with a reduced risk for development and progression of atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. And beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient important in maintaining eyesight and a strong immune system. 
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed parsley inhibits the secretion of histamine, a substance produced in the body that is responsible for triggering allergy symptoms. The herb may, therefore, be helpful as a herbal remedy for hay fever. 
So let’s give Parsley some credit for more than it’s attractive appearance on our plates – Here is to green for health.
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
An effective detoxification program will not ask you to make any dramatic lifestyle and dietary changes. Healthier food and lifestyle choices are generally made on a subconscious level. Once the body begins to eliminate toxins, it will naturally start craving foods that will nourish it at an optimum level. That said, there are undoubtedly many things you can do to maximize the benefits of the cleanse you’re on from day one, and certain foods will help maintain the benefits of the detox for much longer.
A detox diet is a short-term diet, often 3- to 21 days, focused on removing toxins from the body. Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which eventually affects our health. A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing, with the goal being to raise energy levels, stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, avoid getting allergies, regain our natural ability to ward off colds and flu and prevent premature aging and disease.
In natural health writings from the 1900’s, it was common to see articles on digestive cleansing with tonics, enemas, fasting, and herbs. Detoxification has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
The sad but undeniable truth is many are living in an environment toxic to their bodies, take a look at the following information:
How does detoxification work?
Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. It does this by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered, and every cell in the body is adversely affected.
Many health ailments–headaches, exhaustion, and muscle cramps–are coming from toxicity. Toxins have been implicated in everything from increased risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease to mental retardation and cancer.
A detox program can help the body’s natural cleaning process by:
10 ways to detoxify
Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined and artificial sugars, fake fats found in margarine, and unfiltered tap water all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to detoxifying. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants, and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.
Stress triggers your body to release stress hormones into your body affecting every metabolic pathway necessary for detoxification. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts, they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Consider cutting out the news at dinner and bedtime add music that is around 60 beats per minute to calm the central nervous system throughout the day, all these are simple and effective ways to relieve stress.
People who are exhausted with low blood pressure may have adrenal weakness or fatigue. A detox diet is usually done after the adrenal glands have been replenished.