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Saturday, January 11, 2014



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There seems to be little serious attention given to environmental factors that, if looked at more carefully, might provide some clues as to why we're so sick as a nation. We're taking more medication and we spend more on healthcare as a nation than other industrialized countries. We're commercially driven toward finding the next super drug to sell, and yet we're sicker than ever and releasing 'superbugs' into a post-antibiotic super soup that will only be getting worse in time.  It's part of a cultural mosaic that, once examined, might provide us with answers leading us the way out of this nation-wide epidemic of dis-ease.



Modern medicine has described Inflammatory Bowel Disease as an immune system attack on its host, an auto(self)-immune disease.  For some mysterious reason, the body's immune system views a person's intestines as an invader and begins to attack it.

This is the premise upon which modern medicine addresses their treatment approaches.

Having lived through this dis-ease and suffered for over 20 years before discovering the keys to my complete remission - all through diet - I want to humbly offer a reframe of the diagnosis.

In short, our over-consumption of processed foods - dead food - has left our intestinal cells malnourished.  Dead food has little redeeming value except as a treat for the tongue.  If we're feeding ourselves dead food, and our digestive system is seeking in vain for nutrients, the chronic deprivation of nutritionally dense real whole foods, leads to a die-off.  With mostly dead food as nutritional sources, the digestive system simply stops working efficiently and cells begin to die.  Dead food in leads to dead cells inside us.

So, for me, there is not mystery to this at all.  There's no mystery as to why modern medicine is slow to embrace the evidence that SOME are being helped by a totally nutrition based approach.  

It's not about learning what not to eat.

The rule is simple: Don't eat dead food.

My IBD diagnosis, ULCERATIVE COLITIS, has led me on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, I've tried to make personal sense of it all.

The human body is an amazing organism. That something so beautifully delicate in its miracle of interconnected cells all knowing what their job is was given to me to care for is the big mystery of my life.  My guess is, you've got the same inkling.

I can't fathom the thinking behind asking me to take care of anything, after all I kill houseplants, but some cosmic force has expressed that confidence in me.

On the one hand, it's simply overwhelming to think, with all the processed food choices now available, that I could succeed at taking care of this body of mine.

On the other hand, it's overwhelmingly easy, once you know the secrets which only you can uncover for yourself.   That's correct.  You have to do all the grunt work.  It's your body, your mystery to solve.  All I know is that I, after 20 years of suffering, figured myself out.  The hardest yet easiest part is to act in your body's own best self interest.  Do what your body, and common sense, demand, and you might find the wellness I've discovered.

So, I don't make my body suffer my bad choices any more.  Slick marketing campaigns, tasty visuals, attractive talking heads, my weaknesses and my tongue, no longer run to show. I'm not alone on this.   There are others finding their own symptom management solutions.

Why Not YOU ?

What do I mean when I talk about Dead Food?

Dead Food covers all processed foods.  Anything that comes in a package, box or bottle, is a candidate for the Dead Food Category.

Here's an Incomplete List of Dead Food Processes and Dead Foods

Pasteurization is required for all bottled or packed juices such as orange and apple, and dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese, cheese, butter, and yogurt.  Yogurt has the advantage because, after pasteurization, probiotics are added back into the product.

All grain processing resulting in cereals, pastas, breads, donuts, pizzas and pastries, are processed to death, leaving very little except for sugar.  That's part of the reason we consume these items in bulk.  They're processing acts on our addictive brain resulting in repetitive behavior.

Dead Foods are marketed to us every minute of every day.  If we understand they are not meant to be consumed every minute of every day, and that they're to be used as occasional treats or indulgences, then we can better inform our actions.

Like you, I really enjoy being healthy and feeling good. I'm lucky to feel that way much of the time. And grateful.

But there are forces that we humans have created that may result in some of us, many of us, (millions of us?) having our guts rot from the inside out. Inflammation is like a five alarm fire, hidden, inside the pathways of our guts, burning our cells to death, eating up the good bacteria, causing pain and ulceration to the intestinal lining, unnaturally.  Dead food leads to this.

Like zombies, we're rotting from the inside. The bad bacteria - the gangster bacteria, the bad, really bad guys - are beating up the good bacteria - and winning.  As a matter of fact, this spreading graveyard of dying cells is taking over.


So, if we're dying on the inside, where is the sense in killing or suppressing vital system processes?  Shouldn't we be addressing how to empower our immune system? Aren't we like flowers that, when we die on the inside, nutrients can bring our systems back into balance? Why would we be any different? Don't the same laws of nature apply to all living things, regardless of form? I believe so...and that belief empowered my healing.


If modern medicine kills or suppresses any sensation of illness just because we can, I can't connect the dots between that and a cure or at least 100% drug-free management. Like many, after seeing my gastroenterologist, my proctologist, for the first time, my doctor convinced me of my illness with a diagnosis that I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life. VERY SCARY. As a result, of course, I believed I NEEDED my doctor's experience, wisdom and guidance and I followed the prescription for almost a year.

I've come to the conclusion that, although I believed my doctor was accurate in my diagnosis and his medication did abate the symptoms (along with diet modification), the long-term treatment options and the goals for that treatment did not compute. Remission may have been what the doctor was offering; I wanted a 'cure', if that was possible (which, apparently, my doctor didn't believe was possible.)


This inflammation, this rotting of our guts, WHY might it happen?


Regretfully, my observations begin in the womb. And I ask, 'What was the nutrition and medical treatment of the mother like?'

If you live in the United States, Americans' food choices consist of the following:

62% Processed foods
25% Meat, eggs, dairy and fish
5% Unrefined plant food - fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds
5% White Potatoes as plant food - lowest in phytonutrients of unrefined foods
2% Whole Grains

As you can see, people living and eating in the U.S. have a heavy processed-food balance in their food choices. It's possible that expecting moms may have a similar lifestyle in terms of food choices and that any long-term consequences could begin with the nutritional desires and choices of each mom.

Not necessarily our intention, mind you, but the food products that we have created in our food laboratories may come with unwritten, often ignored or denied, side effects. Much food and marketing research has gone into entertaining our tongues and our taste buds, satisfying our prone-to-addiction and habit-forming brains, and filling our stomachs with empty, dead calories. Great marketing, the best in the world, has a way of convincing us that what they're selling is what we want, need and can't live without. It seems we can't live without our dead food.

Silly Observation, one of many: The edible products we feed ourselves today could be part of the mosaic of why we don't feel so well when we turn 40, 50, 60, and beyond.

For me, I've personally connected the dots: consuming an imbalance of processed foods over decades can and often does lead to a negative cumulative effect on our human ecosystem. Often times, this can begin in the womb and infancy.

A child is a favorite demographic pillar for food producers. All kids, big and small, love what tastes good. If they're encouraged to believe that what tastes good is always good for you, then you have a culture that guarantees the next generation will follow suit. For another lifetime and another generation, and on and on. Loyal product buyers are what keep this economy and our businesses thriving.

So, it's off to the races. Kids see their peers in commercials eating packaged foodstuffs. These foodstuffs are also marketed to give parents a break when the kids come home from school. (Never a carrot or an apple. What kid would eat THAT after a hard day of learning?) Parents see what their kids see, buy what their kids want to try, buy it for convenience (It's microwavable!), and continue on down the road, years down the road, a college dorm and a lifetime of poor food choices down the road. Until you blow a flat.

And much of modern medicine responds by saying it's the natural aging process at work. Here's a prescription. You'll be good as new. Or, at least you won't feel discomfort or pain anymore. That's good as healed, isn't it?


But I've got some good news.

It's a given, Dead Food is a big part of our lives and our lifestyles. It's there, it's fun, it tastes good, it makes gatherings festive. I get it. I've had it, a lot of it, and now I've HAD it. No mas. Nada. Zero. Except on my terms at a ballgame. (Then all bets are off. Being good 99% of the time comes with its privileges. I'm gonna have that Dodger Dog. (I'll take my digestive enzymes and fish oil, of course, just to smooth the digestive process. I may eat a junky piece of meat every once in a while, but I'm smarter about it now.)

When I was sick, however, these were 'No, Thank You' choices. Turns out, Dead Food (much of it sugar), is food for the bad bacteria in my gut. Over time, the bad bacteria took over and began their process of decay. At the same time, my immune system was both my hardest fighter and my most vulnerable victim. I picture my previous symptoms as the writhing last gasps of a dying immune system, wounded from battle, fearing no escape, with no reinforcements in sight. I was at a loss, inflamed and sick, with nowhere to hide.


If a mother's nutrition was compromised during pregnancy by poor food availability, the child upon birth will suffer. After being born, is there evidence that we're feeding 'Dead Food' to the most precious resource in our lives, while not knowing it?

Like I've said, I don't know the answer. But here's an interesting observation.

You may have read about my infancy, that I was adopted as a newborn and bottle-fed infant formula, and not breast fed. And I believe that made a big difference in my developing immune system and its ability to fight off infection, both as a child and as I grew older.

Healthy, rich breast milk (not attached to a drug addict or some other person who has had their health compromised) is usually a superior choice for an infant's early nutrition. It's all natural and comes straight from the source, full of immune enrichment for a fragile little life.

Research that others have spoken about suggests that prematurely born babies, also known as "preemies", who are fed human breast milk can reduce the rate of life-threatening complications, curb mortality rates, and reduce healthcare costs. You can repeat that last sentence if you want.

So, interestingly, I've just come across some information regarding a company that is now mass-producing human breast milk to provide nutrition to premature infants. It appears that, for all these years, since formula became popular in the 1950's I imagine, premature infants have been getting formula with a base of cow's milk. Meant for calves, not humans, methinks. Pasteurized (boiled) to death, GMO corn-fed, hormone injected, antibiotic treated, cow's milk. Dead white cells with only protein left.

Before you read on, know that the company I refer to is a for-profit company whose baby and preemie formulas can cost $5,000-$10,000 per baby per hospital stay.

Know, too, that there is a non-profit alternative called the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, of which Kim Updegrove is President.

Hmmm. A natural, human-based solution for a human problem. Up until now, some of us were convinced that humans need cow's milk or soy protein when they're infants. I guess for the calcium and white teeth. And the vitamin D food scientists add back in (usually the cheaper vitamin D2, not the vitamin D3 which is the more expensive vitamin D.) And protein. As a culture, we're certainly convinced to buy enough cow's milk to have it available everyday while our children are growing up. Drink your milk or you don't get any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't drink your milk?!?

Does a calf drink milk from its mother for 18 years or more? Hmmm. I wonder why WE do. Pasteurized (boiled) to death and refrigerated. Yum.

I know, some of this information is a killer. I am such a party-pooper.


The complications include necrotizing entrocolitis, a bowel inflammation that often requires surgery. Death is possible and necrosis often adds weeks to an infant's hospital stay.

My stupid conclusion: Dead Food in, little infant body (so much smarter than mm) says, 'Theres no nutrition to be found here' (duh), body decays and dies. But only after modern medicine tries to kill the infection with antibiotics or cut it out with surgery.

I'm sure it's something else entirely, but it strikes me as modern medicine striking out until the natural solution is right under their noses.

And so, now, human breast milk (although it too is pasteurized!) is finding its way into preemies little tummies and all those life-threatening symptoms from possibly feeding preemies cow's milk are lessened and in many cases simply disappear. Connection to the kind and quality of nutrition? That's for modern medicine to answer.

"Dead Food Theory."
First of all, they say you are what you eat. So, if what you're eating is mostly what I call Dead Food (most all our processed, boxed, bagged, and canned stuff), what are your insides turning into? That's right: Zombies. The bad bacteria LOVE LOVE LOVE refined sugars and processed Dead Food. The bad bacteria take over your good bacteria in your gut and you've got zombies in your gut. Zombie bacteria, eating Dead Food, multiplying in your gut, with the inflammation of a five-alarm fire and a diagnosis to match, a fire that may take a year or more to put out. Been there, done that, thank you very much.


Current processing methods include growing crops with pesticides, raising GMO corn-fed cows, cows treated with antibiotics and hormones harvesting crops quickly, pulverizing, pasteurizing (boiling) liquids to death, all in the name of good taste. During processing, food scientists squirt chemicals and preservatives back in, and can then add sugar, salt, trans fats (soon to be eliminated by law in the U.S.), and acid to the mix. After a mushy paste or flour is created, processors then form it, bread it, bake it, fry it, and pre-cook it into recognizable fun shapes. For liquids, like fruit juices and milk, food producers are required by law to pasteurize (boil) all the 'bacteria' to death, supposedly making it safer for human consumption.

The next step is when the products are marketed to us as food choices, using whatever buzz words are currently in vogue: Low Fat! 1/2 the sugar! Fat free! Only 100 calories! Antioxidants! Low Salt! Gluten Free! Millions of dollars go into the creation of products by food processors. It really is a miracle of modern food manufacturing that they can do all the research and development, acquiring ingredients, creating a recipe and a name, package design, printing, packaging the product, freezing, transporting and getting the best shelf position in the aisle, all for $2.00. At 5 for $10, some frozen meals are just $2.00 each. How can they do that? And make a profit? The food processing industry is clever like that.

Ever notice, no one advertises for fresh fruits and vegetables? Maybe only markets that are having a sale. And that's usually local print ads. Even the large supermarkets have curtailed their advertising. Modern medicine is always there to remind you to consult your doctor for anything, including food choices. Most of the time, modern medicine will tell you there's no harm in food choices, eat whatever you want.

Remember, too, that modern medicine doesn't mind too much if you're ill. Oh, they might complain as a headline, but, let's face it, it's their business to treat illness. Modern medicine is making a nice living on illnesses of all kinds. Modern medicine relies on illness and promotes treatment options for those illnesses. Some have said modern medicine invents some of these illnesses so they can invent a treatment that pays well in a never-ending-treatment way. There's no money in cures. There's a lot of money in treatments. And all treatments are not created equally. Some are more profitable than others. I don't know about you, but I've got bills to pay.

I've concluded that, for me, my illness was preventable at the front end. Once I had been diagnosed, I was at the mercy of my doctor's treatment options. Then I was in the hands of modern drugs, and, perhaps like you, once I was there, I was THERE. I believe that if I was currently undergoing treatment with an immune suppressant or antibiotic, I would ask my doctor about a probiotic supplement they might recommend. If they don't have a preference, do your homework. A probiotic can potentially balance the killing off of gut bacteria caused by antibiotic/immune suppressant treatment.

Remember, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels! Eat clean. Eat paleo. No processed foods. No crap. Clean, whole foods. No soda, no coffee, no energy drinks, no alcohol, no big meals, eat several times a day, slow everything down, smooth everything down, and continue to heal with whole foods before, during, and after your treatment. Fall in love with real, living food. Be aware of any foods with drug interactions that might apply to your situation. Otherwise, eat clean whole foods from now on. That's the real medicine, in my opinion. My theory is that if you eat totally clean from now on, your body will heal faster and, in the long run, you may extend the time in between treatments. Fewer treatments, good. No treatments, best. All processed foods and refined sugars, bad. Natural prebiotics and probiotics found in fruits, plants and veggies, good.