(whether we like it or not)

Nature’s perfection – “Medicine Woman’s” (my daughter-in-law’s) garden

It could be anything — a heart attack, cancer diagnosis, stroke. Suddenly your life stops at a crossroads. Make the best of things, take your pills, and go on as before — or ask, “What caused this?” If you ask, the answer may lead you on an unexpected journey.

That’s what happened to me. My oncology team knew the standard “best practices” methods that included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, in one combination or another, for most cancer patients. They did not have the answers to the questions I asked. Such as, are there less toxic and effective approaches to dealing with cancer as well? (yes, but they said no). Does nutrition play a role in cancer prevention and treatment? (yes, but they said no). Other than a few dietary changes and encouraging exercise, they shared precious little advice about preventing a re-occurrence.

Frustrated, I began my own research. I soon discovered a very different way of providing health care, called “functional medicine.” I was amazed at this holistic approach. It felt like I had opened the door to a summer day where fresh breezes blew, butterflies twittered about, and nature suddenly made sense. I saw new possibilities and have been going cross-eyed connecting thousands of dots ever since.

You may have heard some functional medicine practitioners speak on U Tube, TED Talks, or even the Dr. Oz show. They include Dr. Mark Hyman, author of What the Heck Do I Eat, and Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the founding fathers of the movement. Doctors Neil Barnard, Dean Ornish, and Caldwell Esselstyn have shown how we could prevent and treat diabetes and heart disease beyond medication and surgery. I found Dr. William Li’s U Tube talk about eating to cure cancer amazing, and his book Eat to Beat Disease is a best seller. These practicing physicians utilize the latest research about nutrition, apply food as medicine, and view the body as an entity that communicates within itself and has the ability to heal itself. They write and speak about “micro-nutrients” and about the dangers chemicals in our air, water, and food pose for us.

The book and movie Forks Over Knives makes the point that putting healthy food at the end of your fork can even prevent the need for surgery (“going under the knife”). While Forks Over Knives promotes a vegan diet, I discovered that by eating mostly plants, much less meat and dairy (only humanely raised and grass fed), and avoiding processed foods, I can take control of my own health.

I am claiming that power!

In this blog stream, we will explore how lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in the length and quality of our lives.

I’ll share videos I find especially helpful and if you come across a video you would like to share, please let me know.

Here is Dr. Mark Hyman talking more about functional medicine.

What do you think about his approach to health care?