Reprinted with the permission of Bottom Line/Personal
Over the past few years, soy seems to have gone from one of the healthiest foods to one of the least healthy, with some health professionals accusing the bean of causing a wide range of problems, from thyroid damage to pancreatic cancer. Are they right? Should you avoid soy?
My viewpoint: Eating traditional soy foods such as miso, tofu and others in amounts eaten by Asian peoples for thousands of years not only poses no threat to health…but (according to thousands of scientific studies) may help protect you from many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and kidney disease.
On the other hand, eating some of the recently invented foods that are made from soy—and there are thousands of these—is a different story altogether.
What you need to know…
As I observe the ways the ways of modern life, it’s obvious to me that we are living in a “quick-fix” world. Technology has lured us into a lifestyle of instant gratification—and we have come to expect swift solutions to every problem that arises. In daily life, the expectation of immediate gratification frequently leads to disappointment and frustration. For those facing cancer or other chronic disease, the quest for a quick fix is often devastating.
I regularly see in the press the promise of a simple solution for cancer or other chronic disease. The Internet is especially problematic because it spreads vast amounts of misinformation, which unfortunately, many people believe is factual. As a long-time practitioner who has worked with hundreds of people with life-threatening illnesses (I have dedicated my life to helping those with cancer) I can tell you that there is no quick fix. I wish there were. Illness makes people vulnerable, and regrettably, there are those who would lead you to believe that a simple solution exists for cancer or other serious illness. The truth is that the initiation and progression of cancer involves a variety of complex contributing factors. These factors involve not only the cancer, but also the individual who is the host for the cancer. It’s unrealistic to think that any one “magic bullet,” whether conventional or alternative in nature, can eradicate cancer or any other significant illness.
Everyone at some point in life must confront loss and grief. In December of last year, my friend Bill Gottlieb, CHC, lost his beloved wife to breast cancer. His writings of his experience of loss and grief and his path to healing touched me deeply. Bill has generously agreed to share the tools he has discovered that have helped him through this most difficult of life passages. The following is his personal experience:
Loss is an inevitable part of living. You can lose those you love — a pet, a friend, a sibling, a child, a parent, a spouse. And you can lose your health — your energy, your physical comfort, your clarity, your confidence, your joy.
In the last two years I have lost three of those I loved the most. In November, 2012, my sister and dear friend Jan died from 4th stage breast cancer. In August, 2013, my cat of 19 years — Suzie, my sweet, free companion — passed away.
And on December 29, 2013 — after an 11-year battle with breast
cancer, including the last 16 months of her life, when the 4th deadly
stage of the disease destroyed the body of this tall, lovely, loving, smart,
vibrant woman — on the Sunday before the kiss of New Year’s Eve, Denise, my beloved wife of 18 years, died at home in my arms, her last words, “I love you…”
Most people are aware that essential fatty acids are a necessary part of a healthy diet, and are familiar with omega 3’s, omega 6’s, and omega 9’s. But you may not have heard of omega 7’s, also known as palmitoleic acid. This rare fatty acid occurs abundantly in Siberian sea buckthorn berries (Hippophae rhamnoides), and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic, Chinese, Greek, Russian, and Tibetan medicine. In Tibet, the berries are revered as the “Holy Fruit of the Himalayas.”
Siberian sea buckthorn oil (pressed from the bright orange colored berry and seeds of the plant) has come to the attention of the Western medical community because of its unique fatty acid profile—it’s the only known plant that contains all four essential fatty acids. Studies show that omega-7 fatty acids contribute to healthy skin, hair, and nails; enhance cardiovascular function; boost brain health; and improve gastrointestinal health. Sea buckthorn is also distinctive in that the fruits and seeds contain an extensive array of antioxidant compounds.
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
This has always been one of my favorite quotes—for me, it is a beautiful reminder that spirit is always present. I consciously pay attention to the miracles that are so abundant in everyday life, including the miracles in the healing work that I am called to do.
I have humbly discovered in my 25 years of practice that nothing in or about in medicine works automatically, no matter how technologically advanced we become. The Spirit (theology) must embody the mind (mentality), for the mind cannot heal without the spirit, and the spirit employs the mind in the quest to heal.
“I Fear the Day That Technology Will Surpass Our Human Interaction” ~Albert Einstein
There’s no question that technology has made our lives easier in many ways. I use my laptop daily for research and writing, and it’s useful to be able to communicate via email and cellphone. However, the progress that we’ve witnessed in the past century—and that has exponentially grown in recent years—has not brought us increased freedom and leisure. In fact, the result is just the opposite.
There are significant and far-reaching consequences of technology that Einstein predicted. Every day, I observe people talking on cell phones or texting instead of interacting with those who are right next to them. Time on the computer—whether working, surfing, or playing games—consumes the majority of waking hours for many people, and in many instances, has replaced outdoor activities, leisure pursuits, and social interaction.
This disconnection from life is a direct result of overdependence on technology. I believe it is important to ask yourself, “Is what I do an expression of who I am?” How are you spending your precious hours of life?