Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meet Your Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Nothing makes me happier than an anti-inflammatory smoothie with greens, berries, pea and rice protein (very hypoallergenic) and flax. Well, maybe containment of nuclear reactors in Japan, but that's a topic for another day.

There's a concept I have found to be particularly true that goes like this:
We need to reduce our antigenic load. The more we eat whole foods, and dump the junk (gluten, diary, sugar, alcohol, caffeine), the less antigens we get exposed to. When we're exposed to fewer antigens, we're less likely to get an overactivated immune system, or to have cross-reactivity with hormones (an example is autoimmune thyroiditis).

In the service of stabilizing blood sugar and reducing antigenic load, try the following anti-inflammatory smoothing. Green smoothies rock!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Detox Genes: Personalize Your Liver Detoxification

You've read my treatise on the liver, or not, and you're wondering how to make it more relevant to you and what you're known for. You know already that I'm a lover of the 4 "P's" in my medical practice: make it personal, make it predictive of your health, make it aggressively preventive, and make it participatory.

Here it is: details on how to understand more personally your liver and its long, windy, circuitous path to continuous detoxification. I've taken the example of three genes coding for Phase 1 detoxification. Now that you've had the equivalent of mini-medical school on the liver from my previous post, I thought I'd offer a dessert you can eat on this cleanse: more data!

There's a great test offered by Genova that examines your genetic programming for how your liver behaves in its detox job: the DetoxiGenomic Profile. Several other labs offer this type of testing but I like the robust explanations that Genova (formerly Great Smokies Lab) provides.

Keep in mind that your genetic programming can be significantly influenced by your nutrition, lifestyle and environment. More details are available at many online sites, such as Gene Cards. Let me know if you find other good resources in the Comments section.

This test can be particularly helpful to folks who have adverse reactions to drugs, as this is commonly due to a decreased capacity for clearing drugs from the body. Problems with Phase 1 clearance causes toxic overload in the body. Increased clearance of Phase 1 but without increased clearance in Phase 2 can lead to the formation of toxic intermediates, and in some cases, the intermediates are more toxic than the original toxin. Oh, no! Better to be on top of this.

Phase 1 involves the following SNPs or polymorphisms in the genes your inherited from your parents. You have inherited one of three conditions:
  1. you inherited the perfect level of the enzyme (homozygous normal - the optimal genomic potential)
  2. you inherited one bad allele and one good allele (heterozygous, usually a 30-50% decrement or increase in enzyme activity) 
  3. you inherited both bad alleles, one bad one from each parent (homozygous, usually with a 70-90% reduction or increase in the activity of that enzyme).
CYP1A1 - This enzyme detoxifies polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as exhaust fumes and charbroiled meats. Mine sucks - I have a 70-90% reduction in this enxyme. CYP1A1 converts estrogens to 2-hydroxyestrogens, which are protective against breast cancer if methylated, but which
may be carcinogenic if not. CYP1A1 also activates many environmental xenobiotics to pro-carcinogenic intermediates.

A CYP1A1 polymorphism is associated with increased CYP1A1 enzyme activity. Whereas the polymorphism MspI variant has been associated with both decreased and increased risk (in smokers) of breast cancer, the I462V variant has been linked in several studies with increased risk of cancer, especially in smokers and women exposed to PCBs.

CYP1B1 - Important guy for the 4-hydroxylation of estrogen; that is, CYP1B1 takes your garden-variety estrogen and converts it to 4-hydroxyestrogen.  4-hydroxyestrogen is a potent estrogen that may, in turn, be oxidized to carcinogenic compounds. A polymorphism is associated with increased enzyme activity, therefore increased production of these potentially harmful metabolites.

CYP2A6 - Detoxifies nitrosamines and nicotine. Nitrosamines are chemicals that arise from certain reactions such as making bacon, and some of them are carcinogenic. I have a problem with this one too. I don't wig out around smokers because of the how they damage the respiratory lining, kill cilia, and cause cancer; I wig out because I cannot detoxify cigarette smoke and it makes me incredibly anxious. Here's more info from Gene Cards.

This is a review of just 3 of the many gene polymorphisms that affect your ability to detoxify. Contact Genova if you're interested in ordering the test from your local doctor, or if you are a patient or cleanser in our Gottfried Center practice, call Mandy at 510.893.3907.

Happy cleansing - today is day 6. We start our anti-inflammatory shakes on day 8! As always, share questions, concerns, clarifications, corrections, additional info in the Comments section. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cravings 101: Fight the Saboteur

Your saboteur (or as Annie Lamott aptly calls it: KFKD radio) is the one telling you that dumping the junk is a waste of time. Why bother? Who cares? Who does that quack doctor think she is?

The key to counter your saboteur is to get empowered both to recognize and to talk back. Or send your saboteur my way and I'll handle him/her. Your saboteur has no power over me.

Here are some other techniques, from 12-Step food programs, that work for me when the saboteur is after me to just have one bite of chocolate or just a little bite of croissant or a cup of coffee while cleansing.
  • Think it through to the bitter end. (This is from 12-Step literature). Rather than indulging in the fantasy and romance of what special food/wine you're craving and how it will taste, think through where your food trip has taken you in the past. Recall the injury. Recall the morning after - the remorse, the bloating, fatigue, hopelessness and shame. For some of us, the morning after includes struggling to zip the jeans.
  • HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Eat every 4-6 hours so that you don't become hypoglycemic and cranky. If you're angry or lonely, write it out or call someone to talk it through. Sleep more while cleansing - that is when all of your cells reparative work is performed.
  • Take action. What's the opposite of eating for you? Leave the scene of previous crimes (the kitch), make a gratitude or joy list (proven to raise your energy vibration), take a bath (I take up to two per day while cleansing with generous scoops of Epsom Salt), take a walk, call a friend.
I wrote yesterday about the physiology of craving, that they tend to last 15-20 minutes, and so I recommend setting a time for 20 minutes, drinking a large glass of water and having instead a small 1oz protein snack such as nuts or seeds or fruit. In other words, set the intention to use your knowledge of physiology to combat your craving and saboteur.

I'm also fascinated by the phenomenon of craving and how it separates temperate or normal eaters from problem eaters (of which I am one - I'm a sometimes compulsive eater). Do you know some normal eaters? Are you one? I have a friend who is a normal eater. She'll eat one small piece of cheese on bread, and stops. No message like crack goes to her brain (like cheese does in my brain - most contain morphine). Here's how Alcoholics Anonymous lays it out, which I believe applies to food, particularly gluten, dairy and sugar (that would include chocolate) items:
  • cravings become a habit, usually to soothe restlessness, irritability, malcontent
  • one cannot break the habit and it becomes more entrenched
  • creates remorse -> bargaining -> craving -> sometimes binge cycle
  • erodes self confidence
  • we become more reliant on self will which often doesn't work
  • problems pile up
  • finally, it becomes astonishingly difficult to solve the problem; psychic change, as Jung stated, may be the only solution
Another way to look at psychic change is to borrow a concept from the buddhists: when faced with difficulty and suffering, seek refuge in the Buddha (or Higher Power, of your own understanding in the 12-step literature). If that doesn't work, seek refuge in the Dharma (or sacred texts, some literature which speaks to you and your suffering, offers a solution). If that doesn't work, seek refuge in the Sangha.

We are a Sangha, our sweet group of Cleansers.
    Those are just a few ideas to work with as we march closer to our first official day of smoothies twice per day. In many ways, the 7-day pre-cleanse is the hardest part of the 21-day cleanse because you are navigating 3 meals per day while dumping gluten, dairy, caffeine, sugar and alcohol.

    Are you skin brushing? Drinking your hot water with lemon and cayenne? Taking your detox packets twice/day? Stocking up on seasonal vegetables? Stepping away from the microwave?

    Keep up the awesome work, and share with me in the Comments section what's working well, what's hard, what's neutral, what's charged.

      Monday, March 28, 2011

      Detox, Gottfried-Style - Join Us!

      We started our webinar cleanse last Thursday, but you can join us at any time up to March 30, 2011 right here.
      It’s never too late to detox.
      We are tasked with clearing out gluten, dairy, caffeine, sugar and alcohol over the first seven days as part of the "Pre-Cleanse" as well as starting the Detoxification Support Packets to prepare our liver and gut for the job ahead. Did you start your morning today with a cup of warm, filtered water with a quarter of yummy Meyer lemon and a pinch of cayenne? 
      To hear more about how to do this relatively easily and get started on balancing your hormones, click here.
      How are your cravings? Are you experiencing any? For a cup of green tea? For a bite of ice cream? Here's what we know about cravings: they are time-limited. They last for 20 minutes. Instead of taking a bite or a drink of what you're trying to dump, instead have a big ol' glass of filtered water and a small protein snack. Say 10 almonds or a carrot. Or a cup of your alkalinizing broth.
      Reset Your Liver with a Thorough Detox
      I thought we'd spend some time today covering the topic of why both resetting the liver. When we look at detoxifying our bodies, it is a good idea to start with the body’s own filter, the liver. Many people overlook liver health until it is too late. Signs that your liver is ailin': You're gaining weight and you're eating the same food. You're fatigued, and feel like you need a nap many afternoons. You have disrupted sleep, and tend to awaken between 1-4am. Please note, if you feel like you have severe symptoms, always check with your doctor!
      Is Estrogen Dominance Dragging You Down?
      Another thing to really be aware of is estrogen dominance when beginning a detoxification regimen. It is very common for women aged 35-50+and can have varying effects on the body. Estrogen is an important adaptogen for us: when it’s just right, our mood is stable, our weight is relatively easy to sustain, our periods are not too heavy, our libido is just right.
      Estrogen has over 400 jobs in your body. If it’s too low, as happens in menopause, our mood can fall because estrogen is Nature’s Prozac: it keeps your serotonin in the normal range. Low estrogen also causes dryness: of skin, vagina, vulva, clitoris, all the places that should be juicy and luminous. Your joints may also feel it.
      When your progesterone divided by estradiol in the mid-luteal phase (approximately day 21 in a regularly cycling woman) is less than 100, you have a condition called estrogen dominance. Some of the pretty symptoms include: weight gain, breast tenderness, mood swings/PMS, growing fibroids, heavy and/or irregular cycles, painful periods and occasionally endometriosis, infertility or subfertility, sometimes autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
      Ready, Set, Cleanse!
      We start in earnest with our full Cleanse next week, on March 24, 2011 and the next seven days allow us to transition off of the toxins we've been using somewhat gradually. While this blog post is primarily aimed at those who have joined our Group Cleanse, you can also join us virtually both on the blog, or on Facebook, on Twitter, and take the supportive supplements (ordering information is below).
      Here is a great question on Detoxification: why bother with detox supplements to support the Cleanse? I thought I'd spend a moment giving the liver's job description and listing the functions of the supplements that support the job. I really believe that you understand the biochemical underpinnings, even in broad strokes; you'll be more motivated and derive a better outcome. First we'll talk about the liver and then I'll fill in the gaps on how the detox supplements help you.
      The Liver’s Job
      The liver takes harmful (such as alcohol) and more benign substances (such as estradiol, the most common estrogen until about age 50), and converts these substances typically from fat-soluble to water-soluble so that you can remove them in your urine, stool or bile. You have a bazillion enzymes in the liver that act on these substances.
      Break it down for me, please?
      There are two steps to the liver's daily task - Phase 1 and Phase 2. A toxin enters Phase 1 in the liver (the P-450 cytochrome system) and is reduced to smaller metabolites, which then move onto Phase 2, where they are bound to glutathione, glycine and sulfate. This new now non-toxic metabolite can be excreted in the bile, urine or stool.
      Phase 1
      Phase 1 either neutralizes a toxin or metabolizes a toxin to an intermediate form that is then neutralized in Phase 2. The mechanism used in Phase 1 includes the chemical reactions of oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis, and these processes produce free radicals which may damage liver cells. Antioxidants (Vitamin D, resveratrol, etc.) reduce the damage. If there are lots of toxins and not enough antioxidants, the risk is much higher, and sometimes potentially carcinogenic substances may be made.
      Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 detox pathways may be overloaded or otherwise not working well. Particularly bad (aka, perfect storm conditions) exist when an ill person has an overload of toxins coming into Phase 1, and then Phase 2 is inefficient. This can lead to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, drug intolerance, and chemical/environmental sensitivities, as well as other not-fun conditions.
      A little more info on Phase 1: when it's inefficient or overloaded, you may experience intolerance to caffeine as well as scented products.  Overactive Phase 1 folks will be unaffected by caffeine. Here are things that activate Phase 1 detox:
      • food: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage; high-protein diet, oranges/tangerines, charcoal-broiled meats
      • alcohol, sulfa drugs, nicotine in cigarette smoke, steroids (including estrogen)
      • environmental: paint fumes, carbon tetrachloride, exhaust, dioxin, pesticides
      • supplements: vitamin C, niacin (B3) 

      Phase 2
      Also known as the conjugation pathway -- this means that liver cells add a little something (cysteine, glycine, sulfur) to the substance that is coming in. This makes the substance dissolve in water, and then you can get rid of it in urine, bile or stool. For things to work optimally here in Phase 2, you need the amino acids taurine and cysteine as well as additional nutrients (glycine, choline, and inositol). This is where the detox supplements come in!
      A Side Note about Bile
      Guess what? You make it in phase 2, and normal folks make a quart per day! Bile is the truck that drives the toxins out of your system into the intestines. What's important here is that the bile gets absorbed by fiber and excreted. Low fiber-diets lead to poor binding of the toxins, and the toxins get re-absorbed.  This now helps you understand why we are adding more fiber both with whole foods and a fiber supplement starting on day 8.
      Power Packets!
      Take a wild guess at what's in the Detox support packets: potent doses of taurine, cysteine, glycine, inositol, taurine, MSM, Vitamin B6 & 12, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and several other co-factors that help the liver such as biotin, selenium, zinc. These make Phase 1 and Phase 2 Detox pathways operate more efficiently and clear out lingering toxins. We haven't yet talked about the gallbladder, but several additional botanicals such as dandelion root, artichoke and beet extract help both the gallbladder and the liver with detoxification. The twice/daily Detox support packets prepare the liver and gut for the full Cleanse. The supplement helps to minimize damage from free radicals while revving up (or upregulating) the Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification pathways. You'll also get from the supplements improved digestion of fats and fat-soluble substances. You'll take the Detox supplements for one month.
      If you are interested in joining our Cleanse virtually, call or email our office and order the Detoxification Support Packets ($90 for a 30 day supply). Click here to order online or to visit our website (email us if you need help).
      Detoxification is a very complex biochemical system, and I've oversimplified much of it in the service of making it more accessible. If you have questions, please post them in the comment section.

      Friday, March 25, 2011

      On Cleansing, D#1 - Kicking Caffeine

      What is your most irrational fear? As you titrate with us off caffeine, gluten, dairy, alcohol and sugar, what are you most afraid will happen? Let's start with caffeine.

      Today is D#1 of the Gottfried Cleanse, and I'm kicking caffeine - or at least I'm starting the process. Why is it so hard to decaffeinate? What's stuck and repetitive in my thinking about caffeine and what it does for me? Are you similarly addicted? What are the reasons? Better energy? Better concentration? More creative? More on your game?

      Many of my patients look at me blankly when I suggest they detox off caffeine. A doctor has never told them to decaffeinate before - and that may have something to do with the fact that 90% of doctors are addicted to caffeine. Yet the same patients tell me they're exhausted, they don't get restorative sleep, they're sleep is disrupted with awakenings at 1am or 2am or 3am or 4am or all of the above, they have a hard time winding down, they're "wired but tired." We check their labs and cortisol is too high after their cup of Peet's, and there's a muffin top emerging in their mid-section. They have blood sugar instability, and get irritable unless they eat frequently. Even worse, caffeine increases inflammation, which is the final common pathway for many bad things from bad aging to cancer.

      All related to caffeine. Kick the habit with me, slowly over the next 7 days. Substitute real sources of energy rather than fake sources. Exercise in the morning instead of your cuppa Joe. Meditate. Take maca capsules or add maca powder to your smoothie. Check your adrenal function.

      "But I only drink decaf!" is another common refrain in my practice. I drink decaf too, well Blue Bottle Decaf Noir to be precise. It has a fair amount of caffeine (usually 1-3% to comply with international standards), and the process for decaffeinating is not exactly good for you. Here's that chemical process as described by Wikipedia:

      In the case of coffee, various methods can be used. The process is usually performed on unroasted (green) beans, and starts with steaming of the beans. They are then rinsed with a solvent that extracts the caffeine while leaving the other essential chemicals in the coffee beans. The process is repeated anywhere from 8 to 12 times until it meets either the international standard of having removed 97% of the caffeine in the beans or the EU standard of having the beans 99.9% caffeine-free by mass. Coffee contains over 400 chemicals important to the taste and aroma of the final drink: it is therefore challenging to remove only caffeine while leaving the other chemicals at their original concentrations.

      I've taken a fair amount of chemistry and biochemistry courses, and I can tell you that "solvent" is almost never a good thing.

      I'm taking my Detoxification Support Packets, which really helps the liver with getting off caffeine with minimal side effects. For more on the two phases of detoxification and how the packets help, click here. To order Detox Packets, go here and search "detox."

      Today: white tea, third infusion only. No decaf. Lots of herbal tea including ginseng. My canary: hot filtered water with Meyer lemon and two pinches of cayenne. I'm lovin' my liver again. xoxo

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      On Cleansing, D#0

      A Hindu Scholar named Swami Adiswarananda once said that we must renounce what we've been doing for something that feels better. None of us renounces what feels good for something that feels worse.

      His words frame my entry into the official start of our Gottfried Cleanse tomorrow, which is designed to balance your hormones and reduce your toxic load. You can join us via webinar at any time up to March 30. 2011 by clicking right here. I am going to post daily, Monday-Friday, on what is happening while I cleanse for the next 21 days: what comes up, what I'm working with, what about my relationship to food (and self-realization) is shifting, what I'm learning as I transcend the desire for food that makes me ill.

      Today I asked our cleansers to start with an inventory of their relationship to food. Here are some questions to consider (please let us know your responses in our comments section!):
      • POWER What makes you feel most powerful when reviewing how you eat and your relationship to food? When do you shine with food; what best serves you?
      • HARM What is chronic, charged, repetitively not serving you in how you feed yourself?
      • STOP What would you like to stop eating or doing with food? Examples: eating standing up, eating in the car while speeding to school to get your kids there on time, drinking 2 glasses of wine when 1 would have been fine.
      • FEEL How do you want to feel with food?
      Meanwhile, we talked about many fun and practical things that I wanted to share, for instance:
      • For getting off caffeine over the next 7 days, meet or re-introduce yourself to the many detoxifying benefits of skin brushing. One cleanser from Oregon tells me there's no Whole Foods Market near her, so could I help a girlfriend out and give a link to where to obtain one. Here you go. Today on our webinar, I demonstrated how to dry skin brush, but my tiny little video didn't quite do it justice - so here's another video on it.
      • Eat lotsa greens! Here's a favorite recipe from an old post on massaged greens. Share other fave recipes in our comments section!
      • Breakfast ideas. When I'm cleansing, I eat 1 oz dry of quinoa flakes or gluten-free oats (when "wet" they usually weigh 5-6 oz) with 6oz of berries, 10 almonds and 2-3T of flax seeds. I add 2 poached eggs.
      • There are significant risks from eating off food cooked on teflon-coated pans. Much better alternative: Scan Pan. Here's a link to scan pans at Sur La Table.
      Some come back and join the dialogue as we transform your relationship to food, which I believe is foundational to both hormone organization and self-realization!

      Tuesday, March 22, 2011

      Natural Health Magazine: Interview on Low Libido

      Thrilled to be interviewed in Natural Health, published in the April/May 2011 issue. Most of what I said about hormones and how they modulate libido got cut. My main point that libido is extremely complex (and that 70% of the time there's a hormonal component) but that there are many other factors including relationship connectivity - at least that made it in. Click here to read the article.

      My long answer on how to manage adrenal dysregulation got distilled into a cliched soundbite: meditate and exercise. Excuse me? That is so not helpful. There's a much bigger story here, but still, it's a start. We gotta start somewhere.

      BTW, does anyone know how to post a PDF on blogger? Haven't figured it out yet, so had to send you to my website, where I do know how to post PDFs.

      Saturday, March 19, 2011

      Radiation in Cali: Not Normal, Not Dangerous But Are Physiologic Doses of Iodine Warranted?

      We know that 45% of survivors from the last nuclear blast in Japan had thyroid problems. I posted one week ago that potentially massive amounts of radiation could come our way on the US Left Coast if Japan's reactors had a meltdown, and we're still unsure if that may happen. Fortunately, right now the crisis seems a little less dire, or perhaps it's just eclipsed by the crisis in Libya.

      Last Saturday, one week ago, I warned you of the risk of the nuclear fallout from Japan so that you would consider buying iodide before the rush emptied the shelves. The US Surgeon General agreed with me. Not take the iodide, but have it on hand.

      I also owe you an apology for quoting Dr. Brownstein, who had heard estimates of up to 750 rads might show up here in California. Turns out that number was high, and for that I apologize, for any greater fear or panic it may have caused.  I didn't mean to suggest that 750 rads were here from Japan, but I did cite his numbers, which I later could not substantiate. I think it came from worse-case scenario readings from Physicians for Social Responsibility, but I'm not sure, and Dr. Brownstein has not responded to my request for clarification. I'm madly in love with transparency, so I want to be clear about my sources and lack of substantiation. I'm also not an expert at nuclear physics, but I am an integrative physician trying to protect your thyroid, and mine, and our kids, who are particularly vulnerable. It looks like massive amounts of radiation are not coming our way as of yet, at least not today or for the next two to three days. Like you, I'm still tracking the risk, the jet stream, and potential damage on a daily, often hourly, basis.

      Another of my concerns is that the Japanese lead the world in how much iodine they consume. They eat, on average, 13 mg/day, mostly in the form of sea vegetables. We in the US consume 100x less. That means the Japanese are at a lower risk of radiation damage from radioactive iodine than we are. The Japanese diet, rich in iodine, reassures me as they face the frightening ongoing risk of nuclear fallout.  However, our low consumption of iodine concerns me.

      While many physicians are saying: "Calm down! Don't panic! Don't take iodide!" I wonder, among the physicians who really understand the role of iodine in the body, how many of them are taking iodide at a dose lower than the CDC recommends should we be exposed in large amounts to radiation.

      Should you take a low dose of iodide? We're not sure.

      Here's a post from a doctor I used to work with, Beth McDougall, MD, who recommends to her patients 12.5mg/day of iodine in the form of iodoral.  I do not think we need this much, but is a lesser amount a good idea? I always, daily, take 0.4 mg of iodine; it's in my multivitamin. Should you? Now, we know that iodine is not for everyone - it can be harmful in some cases. Do you take it at a low dose? Check your multi and see. My point is that the less iodine-deficient you are, the less likely that even small amounts of radiation will be taken up into your body. And it's not just your thyroid; iodine is also taken up into your ovaries and breast tissues.

      A few gentle reminders. Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. The information is a results of years of practice experience by me. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. I cannot offer medical advice to those that I do not have a physician/patient relationship. But discussion is highly encouraged, along with knowledge and empowerment. 

      If this crisis and spotlight on iodine gets you to increase your iodine consumption to more physiologic levels, even if that's eating seaweed more often, that's a great value add.

      Let's talk it over here in the comments section.

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      NYT: Radiation Extremely High at Reactors

      We finally have news today from a US official who has independently assessed the nuclear reactors, and states the amount of radiation is "extremely high" as reported on the front page of the New York Times this morning. Not surprisingly, the US and Japan are split on the potential nuke danger. Actual measures of radiation remain obscure, although Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta, MD reported from Tokyo last night that their personal radiation dosimeters (little hand-held detectors they wear like Lawrence Livermore personnel) confirm that the radiation is 10 times normal.

      What are we to do here in California, where radiation is expected to arrive tomorrow in a "not normal, not dangerous" dose, according to the New York Times? Is "not dangerous" as defined by a group of conservative, conventionally-trained physicians, the same as my definition of "not dangerous"? I'm not so sure. Many are saying: don't take iodide, such as endocrinologist Theodore Friedman as interviewed by thyroid advocate Mary Shomon.

      I'm not happy with that message - I believe we still don't know, and that the answer is "maybe" we'll need the iodide. I agree with the US Surgeon General that it is reasonable to have it on hand. We are not yet advised to take it. Small doses may be appropriate and acceptable in some situations (discuss with your doctor), and if the frantic efforts in Japan, over 5000 miles away, do not succeed, we may need it. If we need iodide, I suspect we'll need less than the CDC recommended doses because of our distance from the crisis, but we really don't yet know. What else can you do? Stay indoors, take antioxidants such as Vitamin C. Let's see what unfolds, and as I keep saying: prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      Radiation Dilemma: Resources

      Yesterday the US Surgeon General said: Get iodide. It's a worthy precaution. But don't take it yet.
      Meanwhile, the California Department of Public Health says: Don't take iodide. Here's their new site of FAQ on radiation in California.
      The situation continues to worsen in Japan, and an MIT CNN commenter last night was . Thousands are fleeing Japan by any means necessary.
      The CDC, still not very helpful, states that if you have a thyroid condition, an allergy, or are over 40, you should not take iodide. Here's the FDA on the subject. Old (2001) but evidence-based.
      This morning, Japan raised the max radiation dose acceptable for nuclear workers to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts, describing the move as "unavoidable due to the circumstances," AP reports. Last check: 3/16/11 at 7am PST.
      Stay tuned.

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Surgeon General States Buying Iodide a Worthy "Precaution"

      US Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, told NBC that buying iodide is a worthy "precaution." She does not consider it an overreaction, and said you are right to be prepared. Meanwhile, workers at the nuclear power plants in Japan have abandoned the reactors, as reported in breaking news on the Associated Press.

      We have no idea at this point how much radiation has been released, and how much more may come. We also do not know if we should take the iodide that we procure. If we need to take it, we're not sure what dose. Fortunately, we now have a hotline in California with the Dept. of Public Health. Keep it handy:  (916) 341-3947. I spoke to a live person when I called today (they say: we are not recommending iodide), and they told me their scripts are getting updated daily. I'd prefer hourly, but we're still in a budget crisis; I'll take whatever help we can get.

      As expected, shelves are emptying of potassium iodide, one of the preventive therapies that I wrote about over five days ago.

      The CDC recommendations for massive exposure to radioactive fallout, cited in that post, may or may not be relevant to our situation. Another evidence-based resource is this download from the FDA.

      I'm finding that recommendations for lesser exposures to be very limited and, not surprisingly, lack quality evidence.

      Are you currently getting any iodine from your diet or from supplements? Most folks in the US are iodine-deficient, and my quick discussion with other experts suggest that the more iodine deficient, the more likely one may be to uptake radioactive iodine from nuclear fallout.

      I take a multivitamin that contains 400 MCG of iodine (1000 MCG or microgram = 1 MG or milligram). The Japanese, from their traditional diet, consume on a daily basis approximately 13 mg per day. Fortunately this protects them significantly from radioactive iodine damage. We in the US, consume about 100-fold less iodine from our diet. The RDA in the US is 125 MCG/day.

      Today I read research from Dr. Brownstein's site (referenced previously) about Dr. Guy Abraham. Here's a direct quote, which I have not been able yet to substantiate (most of the data don't appear to be published in peer-reviewed journals, but if you wait for me to substantiate it fully, it may be irrelevant):

      His research indicated that milligram doses (note: this is 1,000 times a microgram dose) are necessary to prevent radioactive iodine from damaging the thyroid gland. How much? Around 13mg/day prevents approximately 96% of radioactive iodine from binding to the thyroid gland. That is the approximate dosage of iodine ingested daily by the Japanese.

      Keep in mind that in some people, with allergies to iodine or other thyroid conditions, iodine may cause more harm than good. Many conventionally-trained physicians are taught that more than 2 mg of iodine is dangerous.

      As I write this on 3/15/11 at 8:15pm PST, I would love some clear answers and to provide clear recommendations. I am getting many, many questions which I cannot possibly answer individually. I highly recommend that you speak to your primary care provider about this issue, and if you have kids, your pediatrician. Pregnant women must be very careful with iodine because the fetus can absorb it and it can affect the fetal thyroid. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU TAKE IODINE. Keep current with the Center for Disease Control, as well as your local public health. I'm trying to share information that I find difficult to find, for the purpose of education and being proactive. I'm glad the Surgeon General agrees that prevention is never premature.

      Nuclear Risk Worsening: Prevention Never Premature

      Now authorities are admitting that the nuclear crisis in Japan, predicted by my grandfather five days ago and in my first blog, is far worse than Three Mile Island, and possibly as bad as Chernobyl but as yet unclear. BBC is reporting this morning that levels of radiation are significantly above the legal limit. Radiation in Tokyo was just reported by Drudge to be 10 times normal.

      I'm trying to interpret the data daily, which is very difficult given the many competing interests and absence of firm facts.

      My opinion remains the same as in my first blog - it is prudent to have iodine on hand as recommended by the Center for Disease Control; whether to take it is still unknown. Yesterday I read a comment by a nuclear regulatory official who stated the discussing iodine in the US was "vastly premature." I completely disagree. My stance for 22 years is that prevention is never premature. Meanwhile, Japan is dispensing 230,000 doses of iodine to affected citizens, again according to the Drudge Report.

      German Foreign Guido Westerwelle called the events in Japan an "apocalypse" which is causing lots of controversy. Like most people, I have significant fear about the nuclear power industry and their lack of safety record. Controversy is king right now because we're all scared: scared and deeply saddened for the unbearable human burden of suffering in Japan, scared about what the nuclear crisis means for our planet, scared that the radiation (in unknown quantity as I write this 3/15/11 at 8:15am PST) may be heading toward us.

      Yesterday, Anderson Cooper et al. reported from Japan about how the 40-year old reactors in Fukushima were not designed for an earthquake/tsunami of this magnitude (CNN went on to say that reactors in the US, near the ocean, are designed to withstand this level of earthquake/tsunami. I found this not reassuring in the least).

      I made a video yesterday, extremely low budget, about the question of whether to take iodine. Check it out below.

      I also wanted to share a radiation map that I learned about from Dr. Helayne Waldman, who will be talking more about iodine in our office this Thursday at noon. Unfortunately, the most reliable map we found has crashed for unknown reasons. Please comment if you know of other good sources for tracking radiation from Japan and into the Western US and Canada.

      It's moment by moment right now. One helpful, ancient methodology that helps me in crises like these is Tonglen meditation, which is a form that allows you to take in and digest the deep suffering of others. It's a wonderful balm for those times such as know when we desperately feel we need to do something. Shown below (recorded many months ago and triggered by a far lesser event, but the principles are the same).

      Monday, March 14, 2011

      US Aircraft Carrier Detects Radiation Offshore Japan

      Japanese officials insist there is no public health risk from the failing nuclear reactors in Fukushima. My read of the news: I have no idea if that is true, and suspect the opposite.

      The BBC is reporting this morning that one of the US aircraft carriers detected radioactive fallout 100 miles offshore from the reactors. I do not know the amount they measured.

      Why, if there is no public health risk, would the Japanese extend the evacuation zone yesterday from 10 km to 20 km? My inner skeptic is getting activated.

      Drudge is reporting that 17 US Navy are suffering from radiation exposure.

      Here is a report of possible days before the radiation comes to the West Coast (11 days to Los Angeles,7 to Anchorage). Totally depends on the winds and could be variable.

      Consider preventive measures, such as taking iodine, with your physician. Orally-taken, non-radioactive iodine, available from Amazon and often your local health food store, may prevent binding of radioactive iodine in your thyroid. It's not for everyone, but get the details and discuss with your doctor. More info on that right here.

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      Nuclear Japan: Latest News

      BBC this morning: "A partial meltdown did occur in reactor 1." 

      According to BBC reporter Richard Black: "On Sunday, officials said the same thing was suspected in reactor 3 - although later, they appeared to retract this statement."

      This morning I heard many conflicting reports about the worst of the nuclear situation in Japan being over vs the possibility of future meltdowns in the day to come. The wildly conflicting data means that the possible risks are wildly variable.

      One eyewitness confirmed my concerns to the BBC: "The official line is that there is no danger of radiation exposure, but we have been hearing conflicting things from unofficial sources and we didn't want to take the risk." True this is lesser quality evidence, but I'm suspicious. Are you?

      New York Times: "the developments - perhaps the worst involving a nuclear plant since Chernobyl 25 years ago." Japan is preparing to distribute iodine to the population near the nuclear power plant. For more info on iodine and preventive dosing, click here.

      Please share what you're learning and your sources.

      This crisis reminds me of surgery: make difficult choices rapidly with limited information.

      Saturday, March 12, 2011

      Help, Kelp?! What to Do with Japan's Radiation (Possibly Heading Our Way)

      While I'm sure you've heard of the nasty earthquake in Japan - not sure you've heard that Japanese nuclear reactors spewed significant amounts of radiation that may be heading our way here in America. 

      Learn about this now: IODINE. Talk to your doctor about protecting your thyroid with supplemental iodine, my friends. Taking supplemental non-radioactive iodine prevents your body from taking up radiactive iodine. You know I'm not a fear monger, so let's roll up our sleeves and talk prevention, and the role of this preventive micronutrient.

      First, a prayer for the Japanese and their arduous, terrifying few days. May all beings experience peace. As the jet streams send OVER THE NEXT WEEK the radiation to Canada and the Western US, may all do what they can to learn how to manage it as safely as possible.

      Second, there is not time for a slowly-formulated, methodically-researched, evidence-based plan (the type of plan I favor). It's pull yourself up by your bootstraps with what we know, and what we've learned from previous accidents. Let's turn instead to expert opinion on WTF we're to do about the sitch.

      I've read estimates that potentially significant radiation is to hit us here in the Bay Area, according to Dr. David Brownstein (but he has not yet provided sources). We really don't know. I don't know his sources and cannot find confirmation. Let's hope they're an overestimate!
      Risks of radiation are listed right here.

      If you are flush with iodine, it is far more difficult for radioactive fallout to bind inside of us.
      Who are the thought leaders I turn to in times like these?
      1. Dr. David Brownstein
      2. CDC

      I don't totally trust the CDC because they are a government agency and often respond too slowly to be helpful. However, here is the CDC's recommendations on iodine to prevent damage from radioactive iodine fallout.
      • Adults and breastfeeding women should take 130mg of potassium iodide (available at health food stores)
      • kids 3-18 should take 65mg of potassium iodide
      • kids 1 month to 3 years should take 32 mg

      The World Health Organization states that the radiation released is not significant, yet 9 people have tested positive in Japan as of 10:30pm PST on March 12, 2011 for severe radiation exposure. Let's hope we've seen the worst of it.

      Yesterday I was on the phone with my grandfather to wish him a happy 92nd birthday, and he warned me (before it hit the news) in his entirely cogent, commanding, MIT-graduate voice that there was tremendous danger with the Japanese nuclear reactors exploding or otherwise releasing nuclear fallout into the atmosphere. Thanks, Gramps, for the heads up.

      Dr. David Brownstein does not recommend starting the iodine now, he suggests we start 1-2 days before the the expected fallout. The oral potassium iodide lasts for 24-72 hours, so duration depends on how long we remain exposed. Follow the news, as he suggests, and plan accordingly. Keep checking back here to see what's next.

      Non-radioactive iodine, such as the potassium iodide recommended by the CDC is relatively safe. Excess doses can cause palpitations and uncomfortable sensation of the heart beating but is usually tolerated well. Most of us are iodine deficient unless you mindfully take a supplement. You can also call my office at 510-893-3907 and check your urine iodine level if you have the luxury of time before the nuclear fallout arrives. Iodine is found naturally in sea vegetables, but you probably cannot get enough through food sources to prevent damage.

      Thanks to Helayne Waldman for connecting me with Dr. David.

      Share any concerns or questions you have here in the comments section, and please spread the word to your loved ones on the West Coast.

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      Kicking Dairy: Why Bother?

      Throughout my 22 years of taking care of people, I've seen a lot of addictive behaviors. Particularly around food. Most common: chocolate, cheese, caffeine, flour, sugar, taken to anesthetize. These babies are drugs.

      I recall learning in the early 1980s that dairy products contain morphine-like substances. This was published in Science in 1981. Learned this while studying nutrition and kids, and was curious why my daughters would drink cup after cup of organic milk if left to their own devices. I was aghast. I guess it makes sense in a Darwinian way that a baby calf would do better if addicted to cow milk. But I don't think we humans have a benefit.

      I didn't think I had a problem with cheese until I encountered Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes. Now, I'm clear that I have a problem. I'm far better now, and my bowels are much happier, off dairy.

      But don't take my word, for it. Stay skeptical. I welcome that. Get more data. Here's a bit more.

      If you know you need help with this, join our Gottfried Cleanse via Webinar: Get Your Cleanse On. 21 days. Starts March 24, 2011, live at noon. Or download webcast later. Register now. It's like the Betty Ford for cheese, sugar and caffeine addicts.

      Sunday, March 6, 2011

      MOTHS-R-US: Addiction as Initiation

      Love this one-liner from Pema Chodron, about how we're insanely, wildly, immaturely, naively, passionately drawn to things that harm us just as a moth is to flame. All of us are addicts in one way or another, whether the object is sugar, our favorite TV show, struggle, excess carbon footprint, negative thinking, anger, violence, cabernet savignon, fashionable clothing, fantastically taut skin, scones, or any escape of your choice.

      Here's a common scene in my life 5-10 years ago: It's Friday night. I'm hungry. I get home from a hard day of work. Kids screaming, irritable from a long week at school. Husband not home yet. I deserve a glass of wine. "I'll stop at one glass," I tell myself. I pour a glass while I made dinner and cajole kids into setting the table. I munch on the food I'm making while I cook dinner. I drown the glass of wine. I pour another. I eat an entire meal "tasting" the food I'm cooking. Husband comes home. He's stressed out and wants to transition. Glass of wine for him. We sit down to eat. I eat my second dinner with my husband and kids. I finish my second glass of wine. The bottle is nearly empty. I stop there. I eat dessert instead, perhaps two servings. "I'll diet tomorrow!" I tell myself cheerfully!

      I wake up the next morning: hung over from the alcohol and the excess food and the dessert. I'm cranky, but worse than that, I'm full of remorse, frustration, even despair.

      Ultimately, we want peace, happiness and joy, right? Yet our goal and methods often don't jive. We often find ourselves, very humanly, unable to say "no" to something harmful. We figure out with time that willpower, fear and the forced march of the latest diet fail us.

      How do get our goal for peace and method to align better? How do we transmute our addictions into initiation?

      Marianne Williamson would say that our addictions are from disengaging from "Divine Mind," which she defines as reconnection to your spiritual reality, achieved through force of Divine Mind, It's a gift from the Divine to return you to your sanity. She writes in A Course In Weight Loss that our goal is to remember the Divine Truth, which is that love is who you are, and this is the key to your healing. In this latest book from Marianne, famous for her translation and thought around A Course in Miracles (ACIM), her focus is on food, as in: it "is not about your relationship to food, it is about your relationship with love."

      Why bother with cultivating "Divine Mind?" Because it is energizing. Inauthenticity and addiction are draining. Triage your energy elsewhere, toward the things that are enlivening for you.

      Marianne would say that "unless your subconscious mind is involved in your weight loss efforts, it will find a way to reconstitute the excess weight, regardless of what you do. Excess weight is not caused by your lousy diet or lack of exercise - "mind is cause, body is effect."

      I didn't learn much about addictive eating while in medical school. Sure, I learned how to screen for advertizing, and how to talk about drugs so I didn't sound like a total square (but really, I am a square, so why pretend otherwise? There's a whole lot of training in pretending in medical school!). I learned a bit about anorexia and bulimia but the more common affliction of compulsive overeating? No way.

      It took me until age 40 to figure out that I was a compulsive overeater. While it's true that I'm rather highly compensated and don't vere too far off from my goal weight, I have the common Western-woman disease of obsessing over weight, checking out my visage in photos compulsively, thinking way too much about my butt and mid-section. I use up too much precious brain power on this. I want peace. I want a raincheck on the whole dreadful business of weight management.

      Fortunately, and with a ton of therapy, self-experimenting, calibrating and compulsive nutritional and psychological study, I've found my happy place with food. I'm no longer a slave to sugar and flour. I've healed my gut and gotten rid of yeast and parasites that drove cravings and a tendency toward overweight. How about you?

      And that feels delicious. As Geneen Roth says, "We don't want to eat an ice cream sundae, we want our lives to be an ice cream sundae." My life is an ice cream sundae, now, in this moment. Maybe not in two hours when my daughter wants to back some muffins, but for now, all is well. In this moment, I have the opportunity to re-connect to the inner bliss that's always there, just buried.

      If you want more of this, and a 21-day jump start to changing your relationship to food (and love), join our upcoming CLEANSE via WEBINAR with Dr. Sara Gottfried MD: BALANCE HORMONES, GET OFF TOXINS. Premiers March 24, 2011 at noon Pacific Standard Time. Call 510.893.3907 or toll-free 888.893.6586 or visit us online. Remember the forgotten ways that food best serves you.

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      My Lady Garden: Organic GYN's Weekend Action

      Curious about what an organic gynecologist does on the weekend? I thought I'd feature a few videos and photos of my organic dye garden as well as some awesome recent workshops with Rebecca Burgess, my mystic friend and inspiration for all things natural and uber-local.

      First, here's a vlog I made today on my garden.

      Second, here's a blog Rebecca compiled on a Natural Dye Workshop in my backyard.

      Third, here's a quickie tour of my garden. Check out the horsetail: provides a gorgeous salmon/pinky color and reduces bone loss.

      Photos by the brilliant Madeleine Tilin.

      Friday, March 4, 2011

      Breast Expert: Interview with Dr. Helayne Waldman

      March is National Nutrition Month, so what better place to start than nutritional strategies for keeping your girls healthy? I chatted with Dr. Helayne Waldman, EdD, a professor at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and author of an upcoming book on Breast Cancer Prevention, publish date January, 2012. Helayne has my fave combo: authentic, brilliant and down to earth. She is teaching an upcoming seminar at the Gottfried Center that starts next week (see details below).

      SG: Why do women wait until they have the bad news (breast cancer, DCIS, atypical hyperplasia) before getting proactive about aggressive prevention? Is it fear? Is it that we're too busy to bother - the risk hasn't gotten to the top of the heap yet? You get a bad breast diagnosis, and suddenly being proactive is the top of the heap. But there are so many risk factors we can modify before the diagnosis!

      HW: Women need to know they can dramatically modify their risk by getting their vitamin D up, insulin levels down, inflammation down, iodine up -- they can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 50-90%.

      SG: Let's talk about toxins in the environment. I find many women don't want to hear about it - there's something dull or dry or unsexy or inevitable or fatalistic that happens in their brains and they tune out when the subject turns to xenoestrogens (chemicals that act falsely like fake estrogen in your body and may increase risk of breast cancer). Can you give us some tantalizing sound bites here to grab the attention of the busy women readers? Let's take nanoparticles in my cosmetics. Short version: what do I need to know about why they're bad & what's the alternative?

      HW: Nanoparticles in conventional cosmetics are particularly dangerous.  Because of their minute size, they can easily cross into blood vessels and then get dispersed all over the body.  Do you really want plastics, artificial fragrances, dyes, heavy metals and petroleum particles traveling around in your bloodstream?

      SG: Let's turn now to the controversy on goitrogens. I find it curious that most of what is good for the boobs is also good for the thyroid, but there are certain foods that are good for breast health, but can block thyroid function. What gives? Some folks say if you take goitrogens such as cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccolli) and cook it - no worries, goitrogenic activity goes away. We talked recently about the opinion of Chris Masterjohn (Weston Price thought leader) - what are the two sides to this story (cooked goitrogens ok vs maybe still bad for thyroid)? Can you enlighten me? 
      HW: Soy is controversial because of its known anti-nutrients such as trypsin inhibitors and goitrogens.  Most (but not all) experts feel that fermenting the soy will help to destroy these “anti-nutrients”.  My own advice is that if you want to eat soy, make sure it’s organic (non organic is GMO) ,fermented and eaten in moderation (stay especially away from “fake” soy foods like soy protein isolate, soy hot dogs, soy ice cream etc which are highly processed with a brew of toxic ingredients.)  The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla Daniels is the best researched, most comprehensive look at soy I’ve ever seen and I highly recommend it.
      SG: Coconut oil. Why so good? Is it omega 6 vs 3 or something else entirely? How does it compare to olive oil? How does it act as an anti-inflammatory?

      HW: Coconut oil is great on many fronts. The main saturated fat in cocnut oil is lauric, known as a medium chain fatty acid.(does not contain appreciable amounts of Omega 3 or 6)  These fats are good to burn for quick energy, actually BOOST metabolism (leading some to lose weight) and increase levels of HDL.  It’s also considered a great anti-fungal agent, so can be excellent for yeast and other pathogens in the intestines.  And it’s really amazing for your skin.  Put some on and try it for yourself!

      SG: What are we forgetting?
      HW: There is a problem with American hubris. We stick our head in the sand about toxins in the environment, about GMOs, about prevention. We have magical thinking about toxins or breast cancer not being a problem for us. We are special and it won't bother us. It filters down from the aggregate to the individual. Well, guess what: it is a problem!

      SG: Let's get busy, Readers! Post a comment or ask a question if you have more for Dr. Helayne.

      Check out Dr. Helayne in person at our upcoming "Radical Breast Health" workshop starting March 10. Click here to register.

      Tuesday, March 1, 2011

      What If... Breast Cancer? Dr. Sara's Prevention Top 10 List

      With every mammo I get, I think about what I would do if diagnosed with breast cancer. First, I'd wig. Then I'd get all empowered and put on my big girl face, and get down to biznuz. Patients and friends have asked me to post on this topic, usually because they've been diagnosed with breast cancer or pre-cancer or have an increased risk based of family history, or... are just female and concerned.

      Kris Carr makes an important point: we all have cancer. What she means is that we all have aberrant cells or oncogenes looking for some action. While we don't fully understand all the ins and outs, it's basically your lifestyle, genetics, immune functioning and nutrition that determine whether those cancer cells grow or get removed by your personal army. Kris has a more metaphorical point here too -- we all have cancer if you look at it as anything about which you feel powerless, see as an extreme struggle, it could be compulsive overeating, grief, a failing marriage. While her message is a little scary, it's also a fab wake-up call to get with the program, or step up to a better program.

      Another reason to post is the empowerment piece. I can't sit by and listen to my patients tell me of the disempowering message from breast surgeons which goes something like this: "There, there, I've taken out your cancer, now you go on and live your life."

      And to that I would say, "But what can I do to turn the tide - there must be nutritional, hormonal, environmental risks that I can modify."

      At that point, Breast Surgeon rolls their eyes and wishes I would go away.

      Fortunately, there are many things you can do to turn the tide. It's all about prevention: radical prevention of your first breast cancer, prevention of recurrence, using food as medicine, modifying your risk factors, monitoring your progress.

      Below is my top 10 list: Breast Cancer Prevention 101
      1. Check my 2/16 ratio. This is a measure of how you are metabolizing estrogen. Are you making more of the good, protective estrogens or more of the nasties that increase your risk of breast cancer? There's good science to support this as a key marker of your risk of breast cancer, and since there's a dearth of markers for breast cancer survivors (and their female relatives) to follow, this is a good one to measure periodically. If I had breast cancer, I'd check it every 3 to 6 months. Here's the two labs (Genova and Meridian Valley) I typically use to run the test. As part of my organic experiment, I'm testing this quarterly to find out if wearing 100% organic improves my estrogen metabolism.
      2. Join the Crazy Sexy Cancer community. If I'm going to be dealing with un-fun things like chemo and hair loss and dry vagina - let's do it with some good company and big irreverence! Plus Kris Carr's Diet is very sound nutritionally. See her video on it below.
      3. How's your insulin and glucose? I routinely test my patients fasting glucose (want less than 99) and insulin (want less than 7). High glucose feeds cancer cells. My glucose was elevated 6 years ago (even though I'm lean - that's because of my adrenal problems, see below) when I first started getting insulin-obsessed and I reversed it in 6 months.
      4. While we're talking sugar, across the board, the white stuff is pretty bad. White flour, white sugar. Either avoid it (best) or use stevia, xylitol, agave nectar, and gluten-free flours.
      5. Minimum: 7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Do you know how rare this is? Frightening. Yet those anti-oxidants are preventing mutation. Bite into your organic apple. If you have a tough time with this one, do your boobs a favor and order a greens powder. Email my assistant for some of this stuff and add it to smoothies for breakfast.
      6. Check your Vitamin D. Based on observational studies, I recommend a level of 52-90.
      7. It's all about inflammation - reduce it, baby. Measure your C-Reactive Protein to track inflammation. Eat turmeric on your food, the world's most potent anti-inflammatory. Keep yourself on the alkaline side of the tracks (Note to self: before you go all Atkins on me, recall that cancer loves acid environment - meats, coffee, peanuts). Alkalinizing foods: pumpkin seeds, persimmons, brocoflower, seaweed, kambucha, just to name a few.
      8. Pamper your adrenals. Those little endocrine glands that sit on top of your adrenals like hats and they run the "fight/flight/collapse" show? Yes, those guys. Calm 'em down. Daily. Meditation, yoga, massage, tai chi, whatever it takes. High or low cortisol is a pro-cancer environment.
      9. Iodine. Most of us are deficient. It's not a glamorous nutrient but give it the notice it deserves. Check your level, and supplement if necessary. Crucial to breast health (and your thyroid).
      10. Speaking of thyroid - stay on top of that lil butterfly in your neck. Ideal is TSH between 0.3-1.0. Underactive thyroid has been linked with greater risk of breast cancer.
      Hope that helps. Don't wait for a diagnosis to get you on the path, the path to radical wellness. Act now. With what creds do I write all this? As a gynecologist who saw her first patient in 1989. As a breast cancer prevention researcher. As a woman living through an epidemic of breast cancer. As a human slogging my way through the toxic soup we live in. Who isn't fearful of breast cancer? Best antidote to the anxiety of breast problems? Knowledge. Humor. Greens.

      And while you're at it, learn more from Breast Cancer Nutritionist Dr. Helayne Waldman, who is offering a workshop on March 10 and 17 at our office at the Gottfried Center, noon to 2pm.
        More from Kris Carr on her Crazy Sexy Diet right here.

        Crazy Sexy Diet with Kris Carr from Danielle LaPorte on Vimeo.

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        I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.