Healthy Tidbits


Strike Three and You’re Out: Another Strikeout for Sugar!


According to a new study, food and drink with sugar added increase the risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Soft drinks are one of the major culprits. In essence, we need to really understand the cancer-causing effects of sugar. Pancreatic cancer could be caused when the pancreas produces increased levels of insulin. Sugar consumption and high sugar in the diet is a way of increasing insulin production!

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2006: 84(5) 1171-1176

Here We Go Again


Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is being linked to higher rates of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CPOD) as well as reduced lung function reports the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Unfortunately there is enough evidence to suggest that acetaminophen is dangerous to your health if you take it on a regular basis. It is known to create adverse effects on the liver.

Got a headache? Instead of reaching for the Tylenol®, try getting a polarity therapy session!

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, May 1, 2005; 171:966-67

Back to Berry Time


Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, elderberries… All berries seem to halt cancer growth.

Teams at UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition report that antioxidant-rich extracts from common berries could inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. So, a bowl of berries per day keeps the doctor away—cancer doctor, that is. It is recommended to have any type of fresh berries daily. So cut up a bowl of fresh strawberries and snack on them anytime!

Centenarians—The Secrets of Living To 100


Harvard Health Publications, a newsletter from Harvard medical schools, reported some incredible facts on the secret of living to 100!

  • Number of centenarians doubled in the 1980s and again in the 1990s. By 2050, there could be over 800,000 centenarian Americans. (The baby-boomers may get their wish yet!)
  • Physical activity is a recurring theme. The research shows the people in the studies are walkers, bikers, and golfers.
  • Exercising your brain is a must: do this by reading, painting, playing musical instruments and going to classes.
  • Female centenarians outnumber males by a 9:1 ratio.
  • Diet and healthy habits play a large role.
  • Centenarians have exceptionally high blood levels of Vitamins A and E.
  • Other variables seem to be lifestyles issues such as being non-smokers, light to moderate consumption of alcohol, little to no weight gain in adulthood, and refraining from over-eating.
  • Last, but not least: the research shows that centenarians have a positive outlook and seem to have personalities that shed stress easily.

Reference: Harvard Health Letter, Harvard Health Publishing

Don’t “Show Me the Bacon”


Bacon can cause bladder cancer!


Cancer-causing agents such as nitrosamines that are in bacon are known causes of bladder cancer. Heterocyclic amines seem to be the culprit and are formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

According to Dr. Mercola, bacon is among the worst processed meats you can eat. He also reports that adding one ounce of any processed meat to your daily diet elevates your stomach cancer risks by as much as 38 per cent.

More and more research seems to be pointing towards the vegetable and fruit food line, and if you include meat in your diet—the more you cook it, the more detrimental it could be to your health.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2006: 84(5) 1177-1183

More on Enzymes


Last month we explained what enzymes are and how important they are to the quality of life.
Enzymes are the key catalysts that start all chemical reactions in the body.
Enzymes are broken down into three major groups:

  • Digestive enzymes that break down food so that the body can use the needed nutrients
  • Natural food enzymes that are in natural/raw foods
  • Metabolic enzymes that your body produces to help chemical functions in the tissues, organs, and blood (heart also)

Unfortunately, due to processed foods, fast foods, over-cooked foods, and the aging process, much of the efficiency of our enzymes is literally destroyed.

How Do Enzymes Break Down Foods?
It begins in the mouth. Enzymes work on breaking down food into small units until they can be used and absorbed in the small intestines. Enzymes are necessary to good digestion.

Categories of Food and Digestive Enzymes:

  • Protease— Breaks down proteins in meats, eggs, cheese, and many nuts.
  • Lipase— Breaks down fats in meat, eggs, oils and dairy products
  • Lactase— Breaks down fats in meats, eggs, oils, nuts and dairy products
  • Cellulase— Breaks down cellulose, fibrous structure that is part of plant cell walls
  • Amylase — Breaks down carbohydrates, sugar and starches, such as most fruits, vegetables and starches

Everyone can benefit from adding enzymes to their diet. Enzymes will improve absorption and will improve utilization of nutrients. Give it a try.

Special Secret Notice

If you have not seen the new feature-length movie presentation, The Secret, please do! Go to You can download it or order it on DVD. This is a must! Watch The Secret and get on a good start for 2007!

Mind, Body, Spirit


Let’s Meditate


This section of our newsletter “Mind, Body, Spirit” will focus on a meditation or visualization per month. It is intended to give the reader a choice of meditation techniques to help with stress reduction and disease prevention. Please try these meditations daily to see how they work for you. Always start with some controlled breathing. Please remember how healing it is to meditate. For more information on meditation and visualization email Mary Jo Ruggieri

January Meditation: Meditation to Know the Field

What It Will Do For You
This meditation is to develop a taste for the experience of expanded awareness. When you can sensitize yourself to extend your aura out to link with team energy, you will know what is happening to everyone at once. You will be able to sense where they are and what they about to do, as well as where those opposing you are. In other words, you will be able to sense the energy flow in any situation.

How To Do It
First exercise vigorously with yoga or some other warm-up series that includes breathing. Then sit with a straight spine. Calm your breath by taking long inhalations and long slow exhalations for several minutes. Lock the first fingertip on the tip of the thumb (gyan mudra). Close the eyelids 9/10 shut. Let your eyes look down. Concentrate mentally at the point where the top of the nose meets the eyebrows (the third-eye point). Keeping the spine straight, start releasing all the tension from the spine outward. Think of moving energy in and out. Let each segment of the spine release and each area of the body relax. It will take about 11 minutes for this.

In the second 11 minutes, all your intuitional capacities will be aroused.

This meditation was taught by Yogi Bhajan in Vancouver B.C. to Canada’s Olympic swimming team.

Reference: Survival kit, Meditations and Exercise for Stress and Pressure of the Times by Yogi Bhajan, complied by S.S. Vekram Kaur Khalsa, edited by Mary Jo Ruggieri, (Hari Kaur)

Essential Herbs: Advanced Cirrhosis


Ask Charoula

Hi, a very good friend of mine is suffering from advanced cirrhosis of the liver. Do you have any suggestions on what he could do??

Cirrhosis of the Liver is a degenerative disease that causes progressive hardening and scarring of the liver cells.

According to Chinese Traditional Medicine, liver problems can be caused either by liver stagnation, or by liver inflammation referred to as heat. Cirrhosis falls under the liver heat category. Liver heat often is related to some sort of infection, due to either viral or bacterial agents. Hepatitis A, B, C and D are often the culprit. Also, harsh medical drugs, toxins, and alcohol are directly involved in such hardening of the liver cells.

According to Beth Baugh and Christopher Hobbs, well known herbalists, teachers and authors of several books, “to rid the body of heat, it is important to start using herbs as teas, consistently, for months or even years.” Some of the herbs they are referring to should be well known to my readers!

  • Dandelion Root
  • Burdock Root
  • Yellow Dock Root
  • Gentian
  • Oregon Grape Root

You will note all of the above are Roots, and so, in herbalists’ methodology, they go straight to the root in our system, which of course is the Liver.

Make a mixture of equal amounts of the above herbs. Take one tablespoon of the mixture and a cup and half of water, simmer covered over heat for twenty minutes, let stand for half an hour. Strain and drink four cups of the tea a day.

American Ginseng root is primary in cirrhosis conditions. The above herbalists recommend that it be taken as a slice of the root in the mouth, chewed very well and swallowed.

Along with the herbs, it is important to begin taking the following supplements:

  1. Enzymes – such as Megazymes, because the liver’s ability to produce enzymes, primary in the process of absorption and digestion, is diminished.
  2. Probiotics – such as a good combination of Acidophilus, Bifidus, etc. to repair liver cells and improve assimilation of nutrients.
  3. B 100 complex – essential for proper digestions and formation of red blood cells.
  4. Extra Vitamin B 12.

The following amino acids are essential in helping prevent accumulation of fat in the liver, as well as detoxifying the liver:

  • L-arginine
  • L-Cysteine
  • L-Methionine
  • L-Carnitine with Glutathione

Two other complexes, Phosphatidyl choline and Inositol help prevent fatty acid imbalances.

* EAT PLENTY OF GARLIC to detoxify the liver! If not raw, try taking garlic pills.
* Eat lots of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, especially Citrus fruits like grapefruits and lemons.
* Raw beets and beet greens nourish the liver.

(Info from Herbs from Health/Beth Baugh and Christopher Hobbs, and Prescription for Nutritional Healing/Phyllis and James Balch) – Charoula


Health Quotes Of The Day

“Viewed from the window of the acceptance paradigm, all failures, setbacks and tragedies are simply new opportunities.”
—Ratanjit S. Sondhe

The Elemental Cook


A brand new year!!!! A brand new you!!!!! Show your appreciation for this gift of new beginnings by learning, knowing and loving your new body. The perfect way to achieve this is by cleansing. There are all types of ways to cleanse the body. Chose the one that best fits you, your body type and your personality. During any detox, moods and emotions can at times run haywire. A good balanced detox plan involves supporting your physical and psychological aspects of change.

Cleansing herbs assist the body by stimulating normal channels of elimination. Most cleansing herbs will assist in clearing toxins and excess waste products. It does this via the liver, kidneys, and digestion system.

Here are some examples:

Root Revival Tea:
1 part Oregon Grape Root
1 part Burdock Root
1 part Dandelion Root
1 part Yellow Dock Root
1 part Sarsaparilla Root
1 part Echinacea Root
Make a decoction – and enjoy 1-3 cups per day
Great for people who are coming off caffeine and alcohol

Nervine Tea
2 parts wild oats
1 part red clover blossoms
1 part lemon verbena leaves
1 part skullcap leaves
1/2 part spearmint leaves
1/8 part lavender blossoms
Make an infusion – enjoy 2-4 cups per day, as needed

Recipes from the book Healing Tonics by Jeanine Pollack 101 Herbal Concoctions – to increase energy, boost immunity, enhance memory, ease digestion, and support daily health and wellness. Antonia Rankin, APP.

Health Freedom Comes to Ohio

Protect your rights as a consumer to choose the type of healthcare you want. For more information please visit our website at, call 614-841-7700 or email

Update: See: Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF)

Calcium and Dairy:  Ineffective for Weight Control

By Pam Popper

According to the Health Professional Follow-Up Study which was reported in the March (2006) issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high calcium and dairy intake do not reduce long-term weight gain in men.

The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study is a prospective cohort of men between the ages of 40 and 75 years of age as of 1986. Participants reported their weight in 1986, in 1998, and then provided information about their lifestyle factors using questionnaires, which were completed every two years. 51,529 men are involved, and include dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, podiatrists, optometrists, and osteopaths. Those with a history of chronic disease were excluded from the study.

Rather than positively influencing weight, the men who reported the highest intake of dairy foods gained significantly more weight – twice as much – as those who decreased their intake the most. Responses for dairy consumption ranged from 9 choices that ranged from 0 to 6 or more servings per day. Adjustments were made for factors such as age, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, calorie intake, fruit vegetable and grain intake, trans fat, soft drinks and caffeine.

The median intake of calcium increased from 736 to 899 mg per day. The interesting thing was that the men who were in the highest intake level were more likely to engage in physical activity, less likely to smoke and more likely to use calcium supplements. This indicates to me a group that is interested in health, but just pursuing the wrong options as it pertains to health improvement. And this is an example of the frustration that the average person experiences – reading consumer publications, paying attention to media reports and then trying to make decisions about health care. It emphasizes the importance of paying attention to science and learning how to become a good consumer of health information and research.

There has only been one study reporting a positive association between dairy consumption and weight, and that was conducted by Frank Zemel at the University of Tennessee. This study was bought and paid for by the dairy industry to the tune of $1.7 million, which is one more example showing that just about any research outcome can be purchased for the right price.

Although I will continue to gently nag everyone I know to lose weight and achieve optimal weight and body composition, I’ll continue to advise against dairy consumption as a means for accomplishing this end – it is the worst food for humans and contraindicated for those who are trying to lose weight or achieve optimal health.

Reference: Pamela A Popper, Ph.D, N.D.,, PH 614 841 7700.

A Season to Slow Down

Rejuvenating Ideas for the Weary Winter Warrior

by Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP

Envision a dark snowy winter evening, a roaring fire in the fireplace and you are covered with a puffy down comforter while reclining in a large cushy chair. While sipping a cup of hot chamomile tea, you are getting a foot massage with warm lavender oil.

Early in the day, just before dawn, you wake up slowly while gently stretching and quietly doing a yoga series called Salute to the Sun. You complete your early sadhana (practice) by sitting still comfortably breathing deep as your mind clutter disappears.

Your breakfast, eaten after a warm hot tub, consists of organic oatmeal with raisins, a scoop of vanilla protein powder in yogurt and homemade multigrain toast with a fresh whole blueberry jam. After reading the Alternative Medicine Journal and finishing your last cup of organic hazelnut decaf coffee, you slip into your work clothes for a short day of chopping wood for your wood burning stove which heats your house naturally, of course. Getting up just before dawn, retiring before 8 p.m., eating more earth foods that are slow burning and doing long meditations is actually what the good health doctor ordered for the winter season. The human body functions exactly like our seasons. In the winter, the natural tendency for our biological clock is to slow down, hibernate, rest, repair, and store up nutrients, allowing time to process past seasons and rejuvenate for new and better growth.

Bringing silence and stillness into your winter days is not only beneficial for stress reduction, but actually very necessary to be in synch with the purpose of winter. Winter colds, head and chest congestion and endless sinus infections are a result of the way we take on winter—working 60 hours per week, getting tense driving on icy and snowy roads, picking the children up after school at 3:15 p.m., running to ballet by 4 p.m. and then home for a late, rushed dinner.

Many cultures use the winter season to connect with their families, eating long relaxing meals at home and finishing projects. Slowing down is winter’s message, but Americans have a hard time with being quiet, still or silent. The rush is always on, especially after Thanksgiving. Everyone collapses after the holidays and spends most of January fighting fatigue, burnout, depression, and winter colds.

There is hope. Bring winter into your life. Be aware of the purpose of winter. Here are some ideas for the weary winter warrior:

  • Relieve winter stress with silence. Silence provides relief from constant stimulation and disoriented mental chatter.
  • Go to bed earlier than usual and get up slowly in the morning.
  • Work a flexible schedule, go in later or ask for vacation days and then work a four-day week for eight weeks.
  • Plan one day a week with truly nothing to do.
  • Get consistent bodywork. In the winter, getting regular lymphatic massages prevents the winter blahs.
  • Take extra vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and beta carotene in the winter, besides an herbal immune builder.
  • Eating less in the winter is actually more, and eating before 6 p.m. is best for winter digestion.
  • Breathe, breathe, breathe. Remember to breathe deeply and expand the lower ribs (to the sides) for a more relaxed breath.
  • Do your breathing practice for at least 20 minutes each day, especially in winter. (Censor the reaction: “I don’t have that kind of time!”)
  • Juice organic vegetables daily, carrot juice especially. Add a little celery or other greens. Drink within 30 minutes because the live enzymes which are so healing for the body are best when fresh. This is a remarkable habit to get into for winter.
  • Rest often in winter. Your immune system requires more rest because your body slows down and is in a state of repair.
  • Sweat as often as you can. It helps eliminate toxins from your system and relaxes your muscles. Take a hot bath with one cup of Epsom salt. Soak for 30 minutes, then wrap up in a bathrobe, lie down, cover up an sweat. Take a cool shower after. Steam baths, saunas or hot tubs work well.
  • Do nasal flushes weekly. Use a nettie pot or dropper, with saline solution or diluted liquid chlorophyll (gargling with chlorophyll also helps).
  • Last but not least, drink water. More than 70 percent of the body is water, and the balance of minerals in the body depends upon drinking six to eight glasses of water every day. No, coffee doesn’t count!

Winter can be a blessing in disguise. It offers an opportunity to reflect, to slow down and to be still and heal. The body knows what it needs, but the mind often gets in the way. May the longtime sun shine upon you.

Reference: Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD

Disclaimer: The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment. For medical needs, consult your Medical Doctor, Dietitian, or Mental Health Practitioner.