THE Healthful Living ADVOCATE News Views Perspectives Truths
Autumn 2007

Dear Reader,

Healthful Living wishes you a happy and healthy autumn season.

We hope you enjoy this issue and become motivated to attend Julie's pregnancy workshop, try some raw milk and taste some kombucha, or take any other action to intentionally impact your health.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Martin and Julie Matthews

in this issue
  • Special Weekend Workshop
  • Holistic Nutrition for Pregnancy by Julie Matthews
  • Weight Loss Drugs - All Promise no Payoff Rant by Julie Matthews
  • Healthful Living visits Organic Pastures Dairy by Martin and Julie Matthews
  • Can cholesterol go too low? Study sees cancer link
  • Share your Kombucha story!
  • Uggh! Raw Almonds No More by Julie Matthews
  • Julie speaks at DAN! Conference and NANP this fall

  • Holistic Nutrition for Pregnancy by Julie Matthews

    Pregnancy is the most important time to be conscious about what you eat. Traditional wisdom, scientific inquiry, and mother's intuition understand that nutrition has an important impact on fetuses and babies, as well as a mother who needs good health and strength to take care of her newborn and breastfeed.

    Proper nutrition is important before, during, and after pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby and a healthy mom. And it's more than simply increasing how much you eat, you must consider what you eat. Those extra calories should come from nutrient dense foods that contribute to your baby's growth and development, and adequately nourish mom during and after pregnancy. A healthy diet during pregnancy can help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis that many women may face after pregnancy and later in life.

    A few simple things you can do that will go a long way:

    • Maximize every bite. In order to absorb the large amount of nutrients required for pregnancy, it's important to eat as many nutrient-dense foods as possible including vegetables, leafy greens, grass-fed meat and dairy, and mineral-rich broths.
    • Adding fiber to your diet can help you avoid problems like constipation and hemorrhoids.
    • Abundant water and good hydration are important for pregnancy. Water flushes waste products from cells and aids liver and kidney function for mother and baby's waste. Proper hydration is important for adequate breast milk production and flow.
    • Take a prenatal supplement. This is a good "insurance policy." However, it is still best to get as many key nutrients as you can from whole foods. Nutrients from food are more easily absorbed than from supplements.
    • AVOID additives and toxins in foods (such as the following) is important: mercury in fish, MSG, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, nitrates/nitrites in cured meats such as ham and bacon, artificial sweeteners, contaminants in water, and pesticides in produce and animal products. These substances are harmful to mother and baby.

    Some benefits to Mom and Baby:

    • Lifelong impact on the health of your child by building a strong physiological system from the beginning.
    • Minimize the challenges of morning sickness, constipation, anemia, heartburn, gestational diabetes, and preclampsia.
    • Lowers some of the risks of low birth weight, susceptibility to infection, birth defects and miscarriages.
    • Increase daily energy level, feelings of well-being, and help reduce fatigue
    • Positively affects labor. Women who get proper nutrition are less likely to deliver early than women with poorer diets - deficiency in zinc and essential fatty acids have been correlated with preterm labor.
    • Promotes healthy weight gain.
    • Better postpartum recovery. A well-nourished body recovers faster, and healthy pregnancy weight gain comes off more quickly

    For much more information on Holistic Nutrition for Pregnancy:

    > Attend my upcoming weekend workshop - 2 days on Holistic Nutrition for Pregnancy.

    > Listen to my recent radio interview - wherein I talk for one hour about Pregnancy Nutrition, essential nutrients, aiding digestion, toxins to avoid, and the specialized circumstances around fertility and subsequent pregnancies.

    See the special coupon below and/or refer a friend. I hope to see you then!

    Are you a Holistic Practitioner? E-mail us about the practitioner discount.

    Weight Loss Drugs - All Promise no Payoff Rant by Julie Matthews

    In June, two new "weight loss drugs" were announced to the public. The first was rimonabant by Sanofi-Aventis and it was (believe it or not) unanimously rejected by the FDA due to risks from side effects. Wow, the FDA was doing their job! In studies, rimonabant had twice as many psychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and sleep problems as placebo.

    In the same issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, I read that an over-the-counter drug by GlaxoSmithKline, orlistat, would soon be (and now is) on the market under the brand name "Alli." It is a lower-dose version of the prescription drug, Xenical that has been on the market since 1999.

    The Alli headline's subtitle read, "over-the-counter drug isn't a panacea, doctors warn, but at least it seems safe." This is as good as we can get, it "seems safe?" Well compared to suicide, I guess it is "safer," but is that a good comparison?

    Alli works by preventing the body from absorbing about 25 percent of the fat it ingests. According to the paper, "When used along with a healthy diet plan and regular exercise, about half of people taking Alli in clinical studies lost 5 percent of their body weight in six months." This means that after six months, a 200 pound woman may expect to lose 10 pounds, and one doctor claimed the average weight loss was 20 pounds before the drug stopped working. That's it!

    With side effects that include diarrhea and upset stomach from fats that are not absorbed and instead stay in the intestinal tract, I don't know why anyone would consider using this drug.

    Additionally, their message is deceiving. While users are told to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly; Blackburn, co-chairman of the Reality Council, an obesity-prevention group that is funded in part by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline states, "I have a lot of patients who want to eat a little extra fat, and they take this so they won't absorb some of the fat that they eat," Blackburn said. "They get to have a little higher fat in the meal, and they don't pay for the calories, so they're happy." What! People are going to go through diarrhea and digestive discomfort, so they can eat MORE fat. If it helps absorb 25% of fat, this logic is akin to buying a dress you did not need in order to save money. With this strategy, where is the weight loss and benefit to the individual's health?

    If from a 2000 calorie diet that is 30% fat, that's 600 calories from fat - with a 25% decrease in fat absorption, that's a savings of only 150 calories!!!

    Dr. Michael Okimura, an endocrinologist and chairman of the Healthy Weight Collaborative for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, said he's prescribed it to only two or three patients, and none of them returned for refills.

    Additionally, if you block absorption of fats you will also block 25% absorption of omega 3 fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins. These nutrients are already in low supply for most Americans and further deficiency could be a big problem for many.

    What has this world come to? The director of nutrition studies at the prevention research center at Stanford University School of Medicine said about the drug, "It's not a good way to lose weight, but I don't have a better way," said Christopher Gardner. What!

    What planet does this person live on? You're going to tell me that the Director of Nutrition at Stanford University School of Medicine doesn't have a better way to lose weight?! What are they studying?!

    We know how to lose weight. Don't we? I guess when you want a pill to fix a health and weight problem, they don't have a better way.

    To admit this drug strategy doesn't work and that good old fashioned diet and exercise is the solution would blow too many doors off established systems (and secrets) - The weight loss industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, and the medical industry.

    Message to industry: low quality, nutrient deficient "diet foods," junk foods, and processed foods are toxic and making us fat and drugs are not the answer!

    Message to society: connect with and trust your body, align with universal laws and natural principles in your pursuit of health and healing - trust your intuition.

    Recent Reality Sandwich Radio Interviews with the authors of The Beck Diet Solution and Never be Fat Again shed much healthier light on the subject of weight loss. CLICK HERE

    Healthful Living visits Organic Pastures Dairy by Martin and Julie Matthews

    We've seen the cows! Their grazing on grass, soaking up the sun, and sure do seem to be happy - just like on the front of the milk bottles.

    A few weeks ago we stopped in at Organic Pastures Dairy (OPD) in Fresno. We spent an hour with owner Mark McAfee, learning about the Raw movement and touring the facilities. We went out to the fields, met the cows, and learned how the mobile milk barn works. The Jersey and Guernsey cows we saw all have names and are milked twice a day, right out there by the pasture - no commute! We could see how the milk is instantly chilled and how it proceeds through the processes of bottling or becoming butter, cheese, or Quephor (Kefir).

    The place is spotless, everything is multi cleaned and inspected to ensure the highest quality raw milk products that are safe and delicious for all. Do we sound like fans?

    There's an overwhelming sense of professionalism and passion with Mark, which shows in every aspect of the operation. OPD employees are as happy as the cows, as the company pays a healthy wage to hardworking and loyal employees who enjoy serving the healthy food chain.

    For the past seven years, Organic Pastures has grown out of consumer demand for raw milk products. People know and feel what is happy and healthy for their bodies, and they want raw milk - a living unprocessed whole food. Mark explained that raw milk satisfies the biological necessities to help ameliorate many immune and digestive system disorders such as lactose intolerance, asthma, Chrohn's disease, IBS, ulcers, and arthritis. We've personally heard the stories (many from Healthful Living clients) of how the positive probiotic qualities of raw milk products have helped to heal a longstanding or particularly challenging health issue, or simply that people feel healthier when they drink it.

    Raw milk is markedly more nutritious than commercial pasteurized milk. See the websites below for the extensive list of virtues, but here are a few:

    • Absorb more calcium - which is one of the main reasons people drink milk. Raw milk contains Phosphatase, the enzyme that allows for the absorption of the calcium in milk. Phosphatase is completely destroyed during pasteurization, thus commercial milk is truly deficient in one of its trademark claims.
    • Fatty acids (such as butyric acid) - Nourish brain and intestinal lining - Antimicrobial properties
    • Natural source of probiotics and enzymes that aid digestion
    • Milk fat shown to affect reduction in asthma
    • Rich in vitamin A and D - High in DHA and tryptophan
    • More digestible - Raw milk contains the natural enzymes and lactase-producing bacteria that our bodies need to break down and assimilate the milk sugar lactose - aiding those with lactose intolerance.

    At Healthful Living, we embrace people and concepts that respect the balance necessary for us to live healthfully interconnected with all things (which we are!). Thus, we appreciate what OPD is achieving by believing in, creating, and sustaining an innately clean ecosystem in which a historically known, viable, and healthy component of the human food chain can flourish - to the benefit of many. And raw milk products DO benefit many.

    Check the testimonials on the Organic Pastures website, or our colleague Carla Borelli's site, LocalForage.com

    If you remain skittish about raw milk, that's okay - not everyone is drawn to it. We suggest you do just a little fact-based research and allow yourself an honest assessment. Raw Milk itself is rarely the challenge; it's simply that we're afraid it won't be safe raw milk. That's understandable given the media hoopla on the matter. Surprisingly Mark explains, the typical conventional milk tank had either salmonella or E. coli O157:H7 detected about 30 percent of the time it was tested. At OPD, the state of California (CDFA) monitors and tests their raw dairy products multiple times per month and hasn't found a single pathogen in nearly seven years. As noted above, healthy ecosystems produce safe and healthy foods.

    In California, we are very fortunate to have Organic Pastures and Claravale producing healthy and safe raw milk for consumers - nature's super food. OPD ships their products across the country, by labeling as pet food. To learn more about the true virtues of raw milk, we recommend that you visit www.realmilk.com, www.westonaprice.org, and www.mercola.com. There are lists of more than 50 different illnesses that are directly, naturally, and positively affected by consuming raw milk.

    At the end our tour we picked up samples; Raw Milk, Choc-leche Colostrum, Raw Cream, Raw Butter, Raw Cheese - all delicious! To learn more about raw milk and Organic Pastures Dairy, check their website, particularly the FAQ section and this video interview with Mark McAfee.

    To your health.

    Martin and Julie Matthews

    Can cholesterol go too low? Study sees cancer link

    Note from Julie: This article on cholesterol is just one look at how cholesterol is helpful and important. It also highlights two questions: is cholesterol "bad" and are the statin drugs used to lower cholesterol harmful? While the article states that statin drugs may not be the cause of the increased cancer risk (although I strongly believe more study is needed as some studies already appear to show this1), they are known to damage the liver and muscles as well as increase the risk of Parkinson's Disease.

    However, I believe more importantly this study is bringing into question, something that we've talked about before at Healthful Living - is cholesterol bad? Many studies show that cholesterol is not all bad, in fact in balance, cholesterol (with high quality foods and sources) is important for our health 2, 3. This is just one study highlighting that we are missing something in our pursuits to lower cholesterol.

    A question that could use attention by the medical community, does artificially lowering the cholesterol numbers impact health in a positive way? More study is needed to know who is at risk for heart disease, as well as what other markers (such as homocysteine, c reactive protein, etc.) are more relevant.

    One thing that is true is that all cholesterol should not be labeled as "bad" and completely avoided. There seem to be better ways through diet, exercise and nutrient support to impact health and heart health.

    By Maggie Fox and Ben Hirschler

    WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - Lowering cholesterol as much as possible may reduce the risk of heart disease, but with a price: taking it too low could raise the risk of cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

    Patients who took statin drugs to lower their cholesterol had a slightly higher risk of cancer, although the study did not show that the statin drugs themselves caused the cancer.

    The researchers found one extra case of cancer per 1,000 patients with the lowest levels of LDL -- low density lipoprotein or so-called bad cholesterol -- when compared to patients with higher LDL levels.

    Dr. Richard Karas of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and colleagues did not look directly at patients for their study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    They did what is known as a meta-analysis, looking at the records of 41,173 patients in 23 different trials of statins.

    "The demonstrated benefits of statins in lowering the risk of heart disease remain clear; however, certain aspects of lowering LDL with statins remain controversial and merit further research," Karas said in a statement.

    Some experts cautioned that the general public could misunderstand the meaning of the study.

    "You have to be careful about these things, because people stop taking their statins because they are afraid of cancer and then they die of heart attacks," said statin expert Dr. John LaRosa of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, who wrote a commentary in the journal.

    Statins are the world's top-selling drugs, pulling in billions of dollars for their makers. They lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, and evidence also suggests unexpected benefits, such as a lowered risk of death from influenza, pneumonia and the effects of smoking.

    Experts believe some of the beneficial effects may come from the drugs' effects on inflammation in the body.


    But people with extra-low cholesterol may have a higher risk of Parkinson's disease. Statin drugs can also damage the liver and muscles.

    The Karas study renews concerns about cancer, as well. Karas and colleagues examined the records of patients treated with popular statins, including Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zocor, now off patent.

    They did not include data from recently launched statins such as AstraZeneca Plc's Crestor and Merck/Schering-Plough Corp.'s Vytorin.

    LaRosa said even if the statins did raise the risk of cancer, the overall risk was low and the risks of heart disease are far more immediate. "The truth of the matter is that we cannot live forever," he said in a telephone interview. "Something is going to get us. If we don't die of heart disease, then we die of cancer or Alzheimer's. We don't want people to stop something that we know has benefits."

    Andrew Baum, an analyst with Morgan Stanley in London, said concerns over statin safety had waxed and waned over the past 10 years, and few physicians were likely to change prescribing practice following the news.

    1. Newman TB, Hulley SB. Carcinogenicity of lipid-lowering drugs. Journal of the American Medical Association 27, 55-60, 1996.

    2. Forette B, Tortrat D, Wolmark Y. Cholesterol as risk factor for mortality in elderly women. The Lancet 1 ,868-870, 1989.

    3. Jacobs D et al. Report of the conference on low blood cholesterol: Circulation 86, 1046-60. 1992.

    Share your Kombucha story!

    Have you been making your own kombucha? Please share your story with Healthful Living. We'd love to hear how the wonderful process of producing your own healthy food has positively affected your life and/or grossed you out. Whether you've taken our Traditional Foods cooking class, or learned through Nourishing Traditions, the Weston A. Price Foundation, or elsewhere, we're glad you're catching on to this drink.

    Kombucha can be considered a wonder food (similar to raw milk in that regard) - it's strictly healthy, restoring beneficial live-cultures and enzymes to our body. It's a probiotic food that helps bring us back into balance. And, with a little smarts, you can make it at home - essentially for free!

    What could be better than growing a fermented beverage in a vessel upon your refrigerator, then bottling and drinking an elixir of your creation - infused and intended to bring health to your mind and body? Engaging in the process of making kombucha orients you toward healthier practices in life; it is an experiential practice that literally nourishes both mind and body.

    Here are some photos of our recent Kombucha cultures.

    The look on your face RIGHT NOW reflects whether or not you've discovered Kombucha. If you're among the crowd saying things like "my digestion improved," "I have more energy," "my bones are less stiff," "my acne went away," or dozens of other touted health benefits - you're smiling. For the squeamish type clinging to the cola or cappuccino - you're likely squeaming.

    Fortunately you're too smart to NOT be curious about kombucha - all upside, no downside. If you're just learning, follow your intuition and enjoy the process. If you're already brewing kombucha a home, please share your experience with us. We'll be compiling these and conducting interviews with some of you for an upcoming kombucha education project.

    Don't know about Kombucha?

    See our story in an earlier newsletter, and also check out the well written write up by Jennifer Adler at Conscious Choice Magazine.

    Share your stories to info@healthfulliving.org

    Uggh! Raw Almonds No More by Julie Matthews

    In an unbelievable ruling by the USDA, starting September 1, 2007, ALL almonds to be consumed in the U.S. must be pasteurized. What does that mean? All almonds will need to be heated and processed before you can purchase them. Pasteurizing food destroys important enzymes for digestion and results in a dead, processed food.

    Where is this world going to? This whole almond issue was based on two pathogen findings on conventional farms (not organic), from which no one was seriously harmed. Because of that are we going to keep cooking, killing, and processing all of our food before we eat them? Why not just produce and consume high quality food that doesn't need to be pasteurized? Where will this stop? Will all nuts need to be pasteurized soon?

    Actually, not ALL almonds must be pasteurized, imported nuts will be available truly raw. This legislation forces small organic farmers to comply with an expensive process that degrades the quality of their product, while international producers carry on raw. It all sounds a little to convenient for the large almond growers - to reduce their risk by pasteurizing, force everyone else to participate to cut out any competition, don't require honest labeling.

    "Pasteurization" is a sterilization method that typically uses heat to kill organisms. However, what is more disturbing is the United States Food & Drug Administration has approved propylene oxide's use to pasteurize raw almonds. According to Wikipedia, "propylene oxide is a highly toxic flammable chemical compound. It was once used as a racing fuel, but that usage is now prohibited under the US NHRA rules for safety reasons. It is also used in thermobaric weapons, and microbial fumigation." Propylene oxide does not have "Generally Recognized as Safe" status from the FDA. Propylene oxide treatment of foods is banned in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

    Not only will almonds not be labeled pasteurized, you'll never know what they were pasteurized with - heat or chemicals

    While the president and CEO of the Almond Board of California Waycott states, "Pasteurized raw almonds do not differ in any significant way -- taste, quality or nutritional value -- from untreated almonds. Pasteurization simply reduces the presence of harmful bacteria on those almonds to safe levels while maintaining taste, quality and nutritional value."

    Do you believe him? You shouldn't.

    Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria but it also kills good bacteria and eventually will create more "superbugs" resistant to antibiotics and possibly pasteurization methods. Good nutrients and fatty acids are destroyed through heating. These chemicals are inadequately tested for their toxicity or safety for adults or children. A close cousin (due to their similar structures), ethylene oxide, is a known carcinogen and while propylene oxide has not been found to be so yet, we can not trust it is safe. Additionally, much of the live nature (or "living energy") of the food is destroyed when it is pasteurized.

    This is so wrong. What you can do?

    Protest - refuse to purchase these pasteurized almonds. Show the industry, we won't tolerate it.

    Get to know a farmer and go to them directly. The rule applies to handler and retailers were redefined as handlers. However, farmers are not handlers.

    Buy imported almonds. I know it's important to support local farmers and do so whenever you can, but before you buy the pasteurized nuts, "vote against them" by buying anything else. Imported almonds are exempt from the rule. If the industry knows they have shot themselves in the foot, they may change their tune.

    Tell your friends and family what the truth is. People need to know and given the labeling deception, we need to inform people.

    Sign the petition. Over 18,000 people already have signed it. GoPetition.com Online petition - Mandatory Almond Pasteurization is WRONG!!!

    Julie speaks at DAN! Conference and NANP this fall

    There are three opportunities to see Julie speak this fall on Nourishing Hope: The Essentials of Nutrition Intervention for Autism.

    October 13th - Defeat Autism Now! Conference in Anaheim, CA - INFORMATION

    October 20th - Annual Conference, National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), Rhonert Park, CA INFORMATION

    December 1st - Parent's Listen Speaker Series, presentation and cooking demonstration. Toronto, Canada. INFORMATION

    Special Weekend Workshop

    and Postpartum
    Nutrition & Holistic Wellness

    • Essential nutrition for all stages of pregnancy
    • Empowering holistic health knowledge
    • Nourish your baby's future

    Saturday & Sunday
    October 6th & 7th

    in San Francisco

    for details

    Healthful Living's Radio Show
    "Reality Sandwich"

    Sept 13th: Julie Matthews discusses her upcoming workshop:
    Holistic Nutrition for Pregnancy.

    Sept 27th: Beverly Yates, ND - Natural methods for treating allergies. http://NaturalHealthCare.com

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