Wasabi’s 8 Healing Benefits! 🌱 Vegan Sushi Balls

Vegan Sushi Balls

Vegan Sushi Balls & Wasabi Sauce

Wasabi… What is it?!?  You know that green mushy guacamole like stuff you have probably seen in Japanese Restaurants.  Only thing is, it tastes nothing like Guacamole!

I moved from a small town in Texas to California when I was 17 years old, I had never been to a Japanese restaurant, let alone heard of Wasabi.  When I was served wasabi and ginger for the first time, this small town girl  assumed it was Guacamole and put the entire wasabi ball in her mouth, yes, me… I did that!

Real Wasabi

Real Wasabi

I literally thought I was going to die! I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t speak, I was in so much pain… all the while, a restaurant full of people were all really really laughing at me and I still had no idea what was happening!  It was a great way to learn not to assume anything about anything- especially food!

So seriously… what is Wasabi?!? Does it really have healing properties?

ワサビ

Wasabi is a perennial herb plant and is a member of the Cruciferae or Brassicaceae family along with cabbages, horseradish, and mustard. The root of the Wasabi is often used as a condiment and has a very strong taste and aroma. The two types of Wasabi include Wasabi Daruma and Wasabi Mazuma.  Wasabi has decent amounts of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium.

Although Wasabi is often known as a condiment in Japanese restaurants, there are some other great reasons to eat Wasabi.  Now, when I say Wasabi is healthy, I don’t mean the processed kind you find in most restaurants, snacks, junk food, I mean the actual fresh Wasabi Plant (Wasabia japonica or Eutrema japonica).

The Wasabi most people have eaten may have gluten, is a mix of horse radish, a little mustard paste and green food coloring.  Real plant Wasabi tastes like an herb, is pungent, but doesn’t sting like the horse radish. It is easier to eat and is actually a very powerful healing agent.  Genuine fresh Wasabi is rarely found in the United States or Canada.

葉わさび

8 Top Healing Benefits of Wasabi:

  1. Anti-microbial:  Fights many forms of bacteria, yeast and mold. [8}
  2. Anti-bacterial:  Found effective in fighting E. Coli, Staphylococcus & H-Pylori. [6]
  3. Detoxifier: helps the liver to get rid of toxins & carcinogens. [7]
  4. Anti-inflammatory: may reduce arthritis, joint pain, asthma & Irritable Bowel Disease.
  5. Anti-Cancer Properties: may assist the liver in neutralizing toxins & cancer cells. [3] [4]
  6. Protects Heart: may reduce heart attack/stroke by preventing blood clots. [Dr. James Duke]
  7. Improves Digestion: may help the intestinal tract get rid of toxins & is rich in fibers. [1] [6]
  8. Fights Cavities:  The leaves help kill Streptococcus Bacteria in your mouth. [Matsuda, 2004]

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My favorite healing property about Wasabi is its possible effectiveness at fighting H-Pylori.  According to a 2004 PubMed article by Shin, Masuda and Naohide, the AIT and other components in wasabi roots, stems and leaves were able to show bactericidal activities against H-pylori strain NCTC 11637, YS 27 and YS 50.  If Wasabi can fight H-Pylori, imagine how powerful it is?!?

All these studies were conducted in a laboratory, as are the majority of studies, but Wasabi has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years, and there are many people who attest to its healing properties.

Real Wasabi is very expensive to buy and find because it is very rare to find fresh Wasabi, and it can also be difficult to grow Wasabi.  Wasabi is naturally found in the mountainous wet riverbed climate of Japan and does not need a ton of sunshine, but nonetheless is a stubborn plant to grow and takes about two to three years to be ready for harvesting.

わさび田と渓流If you want to grow Wasabi, you most likely will need a water tower or aquatic system. The state of North Carolina, Oregon, the province of British Columbia, and the Countries of New Zealand, Taiwan and Korea have been the only other places besides Japan to really take on the difficulty of successfully growing large quantities of Wasabi.

If you are looking for ammunition in your natural healing arsenal, Wasabi is a standup Super Plant! If you can get your hands on some fresh Wasabi, please send me some… half kidding! 🙂

You can make fresh Wasabi by cutting the root, peeling the skin off and finely grating the green flesh to get a creamy like texture.

These Vegan Sushi Balls and Wasabi Dipping Sauce are so Yummy Yummy, you won’t eat just one, so here is a recipe for 17!

Vegan Sushi Balls

Vegan Sushi Balls

Ingredients for Vegan/Gluten Free Sushi Balls:

  1. 2 Cups of White Rice (short grain works best). I use GF Jasmine Rice.
  2. 3 Tablespoons of of Rice Vinegar
  3. 4 Tablespoons of Coconut Liquid Aminos (or Braggs or Soy Sauce)
  4. 2 Tablespoons of Sugar (I use Coconut Sugar)
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sea Salt
  6. 1/4 Cup Chopped Sea Vegetables
  7. 2 carrots (chopped)
  8. 5 Scallions (chopped Green part)
  9. 1/4 cup hulled Black or White Sesame Seeds (I mix both)
  10. 1 Garlic Clove
  11. 1 Inch of Fresh Ginger (peeled & sliced)

Instructions for Sushi Balls:

  1. Cook 2 Cups of Rice according to package instructions
  2. While Rice is cooking, Combine the Liquid Aminos (Soy Sauce), Rice Vinegar, Sugar, Sea Salt, Carrots, Scallions, Garlic, Ginger in a Food Processor/Blender until well minced.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large Glass Bowl or a bowl that is not plastic.
  4. Place the Sesame seeds on a large flat plate and spread them out.
  5. When the Rice is done, combine Rice & Mixture and fold it all in with a wooden spoon.
  6. I tightly cover my Rice Mixture and let it sit for at least 2 hours.
  7. After the rice is cool & sticky, make little rice balls & roll each one in the sesame seeds.
  8. Put them on a baking sheet with was paper and refrigerate them for up to 2 days!

Wasabi Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  1. 1 Tablespoon of Wasabi Powder (unless you can get fresh)
  2. 1/4 Cup of Spring Water
  3. 1 Large Garlic Clove
  4. 1 inch Fresh Ginger, peeled & thinly sliced
  5. 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (room temp)
  6. 1 teaspoon of Coconut Sugar (or sugar of choice)
  7. 5 Tablespoons of Coconut Aminos (or Braggs Aminos, or Soy Sauce)
  8. 1 Tablespoons of Rice Vinegar
Wasabi Dipping Sauce

Wasabi Dipping Sauce

Instructions for Wasabi Dipping Sauce

Save a couple of strips of the Ginger on the side.  Place the rest of the above ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until all the ingredients are very fine. Taste to see if you like to add more soy sauce/aminos or Wasabi… I always do 😉  put the Wasabi Sauce in a little dish and sprinkle some little Ginger slices on top!

Mmmm Yummy Yummy Baby! Stay healthy & happy, Dr. Dee 😉
sushi balls pic 1

[1] Suppressive effect of wasabi (pungent Japanese spice) on gastric carcinogenesis induced by MNNG in rats. Nutr Cancer. 1991;16(1):53-8.
[2] Dynamics of Nrf2 and Keap1 in ARE-mediated NQO1 expression by wasabi 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Nov 23;59(22):11975-82.
[3] Selective sensitivity to wasabi-derived 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate of human breast cancer and melanoma cell lines studied in vitro. Cancer Detect Prev. 2005;29(2):155-60.
[4] Tumor cell proliferation and cyclooxygenase inhibitory constituents in horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) and Wasabi (Wasabia japonica). J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 9;53(5):1440-4.
[5] Colon cancer proliferating desulfosinigrin in wasabi (Wasabia japonica). Nutr Cancer. 2004;48(2):207-13.
[6] Bactericidal activity of wasabi (Wasabia japonica) against Helicobacter pylori. Int J Food Microbiol. 2004 Aug 1;94(3):255-61.[7] Anti-influenza virus activity of extract of Japanese wasabi leaves discarded in summer. J Sci Food Agric. 2008;88:1704–1708.

[8] Suppressive effect of hot water extract of wasabi (Wasabia japonica Matsum.) leaves on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Food Chem. 2010;118:239–244.


Vegan Coconut Yogurt Recipe: Probiotics Benefits You & Baby!

yogurt bianco e fragolaWhat Are Vegan Probiotics?

Probiotics are living microorganisms, that scientific research has shown to benefit our health. Most often they are good bacteria, but they may also be other organisms such as yeasts.

Vegan Probiotics are similar, or the same, as the “good” bacteria already in your body, especially those in our tummy, but without allergens such as dairy products. These good bacteria are part of the trillions of microorganisms that already inhabit our bodies.

This community of microorganisms is called the microbiota. Some microbiota organisms are known to cause disease and others are known to aide in digestion and good health.

Some Foods with Natural & Dairy-Free Probiotics:

Homemade Coconut Yogurt, Miso Soup, Kambucha, Sauerkraut, Pickles, Tempeh, Kimchi & other fermented food. 豚キムチ As you can see in the list and the photos, foods that have natural probiotics are not foods babies or children can or would like to eat… This is why is important to learn about Probiotic supplementation for infants & kids.

The two kinds of Bacteria used most often in Probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These GOOD BACTERIA are also far more abundant in infant poop then in adult excrement.

Each group of bacteria has different species and each species has different strains. Different strains have different benefits for different parts of your body. Most importantly, in order for Probiotic Bacteria to work, they must survive the acids in the Digestive Tract.

It is important to buy good quality REFRIGERATED probiotics, which can not be found at regular grocery stores!

Why Babies feel better with Vegan Probiotics!

  • They Boost immune system by enhancing antibodies to vaccines.
  • Prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to gut lining & growing there.
  • Send signals to cells to strengthen mucus in intestines
  • Helps mucous act as a barrier against infection.
  • Inhibit/Destroy toxins released by “bad” bacteria.
  • Produce B vitamins necessary for metabolizing food
  • Reduces anemia caused by deficiencies in B6/B12.
  • Maintains healthy skin and a healthy nervous system.

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Other Possible Benefits of Vegan Probiotics for Babies:

  • Prevention of necrotising enterocolitis (death of intestinal tissue).
  • Prevention of fevers & diarrhea.
  • Increased immunity in infants infected with Rotavirus & Diarrhea.
  • Reduces chances baby will develop atopic Eczema & Asthma.

Signs your Baby/Child may need Vegan Probiotics!  

  • Colic
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloody stools
  • Mucous in stools
  • H-pylori in the family
  • Repeated respiratory infections

Other Important Questions!

  • Was baby born premature? Was baby given antibiotics?
  • Was mom given antibiotics during pregnancy/delivery/breast feeding?
  • Was baby born through C-Section? Did mom drink dairy while pregnant?
  • Did mom lack fresh fruits and vegetables during pregnancy?
  • Did your baby get sick after he/she was vaccinated?
  • Did biological mother have a vaginal infection during birth?

If your baby/child has any of these symptoms, it is critical to consult with someone who can do an assessment and who is truly aware of Probiotic benefits. (Functional Med Dr/Homeopath/Naturopath/Nutritionist). IMG_20141123_092914

Possible Consequences of a Damaged Digestive Tract:

If the mother had an undiagnosed vaginal infection during a vaginal birth, it is possible the baby’s gut could have been damaged by this infection.

If your baby was adopted or was not breast-fed then your baby did not receive all of the natural and healing properties that are in breastmilk. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Neurologist & Neurosurgeon, if your baby has a damaged digestive tract, it will further damage the integrity of his or her gut wall. This damage allows Pathogenic microbes and all sorts of toxins and microbes to flood your child’s bloodstream, and then enter the brain and disrupt development. This can result in ADHD, GAPS, Schizophrenia, Autism and Mood Disorders.

Which Probiotics are best for Baby?

Vegan Lactobacillus Species

  1. Lactobacillus casei Shirota: Supports the immune system & move food.
  2. Lactobacillus bulgaricus: Relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance.
  3. L. rhamnosus increases colonic B. breve & matures immune system.
  4. L. paracasei produces L(+)-lactic acid & antagonizes Rotavirus, Staphylococcus Aureus.
  5. L. gasseri is native to the human gut & is in breast milk.
  6. L. salivarius in intestinal tract, helps calcium absorption & helps intestinal barrier.

Vegan Bifidobacterium Species:

  1. B. breve promotes growth of B cells in Peyer’s patches in the ileum
  2. Antagonizes rotavirus & reduces intestinal anaerobic Bacteroides & Clostridium.
  3. B. infantis reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in babies.
  4. B. lactis enhances normal immune function
  5. Modifies gut microflora against allergic inflammation.
  6. B. bifidum suppresses total & allergen-specific IgE secretion.
  7. B. longum regulates immunity to respiratory antigens & inhibits neutrophil elastase.

Vegan Lactobacillus and Vegan Bifidobacterium are the two species designed to safely meet the metabolic and intestinal support needs of infants up to the age of 2 years. It is important that Infant Probiotic Formulas produce predominantly L(+)-lactic acid that can be safely metabolized by infants. An infant’s gastrointestinal tract is not fully mature at birth and cannot metabolize the D(-) isomer of lactic acid produced by many lactobacilli.

Secondly, studies show that using a multi-strain, allergen free Probiotic that has some or all of the strains listed above, work best to bring healing and digestive support. IMG_20141118_081653

Dairy-Free (Vegan) & Gluten Free Probiotics are Best!

Many babies are allergic to dairy and gluten so it is best to use a probiotic that is cultured on a Vegan growth media that is free of common allergens, including dairy, wheat, gluten, egg and soy. It is also important to make sure that the label states:

  • No Dairy
  • No Egg
  • No Sugar
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • No Coloring
  • No Flavors
  • No Preservatives.

Where To Buy Good Vegan Probiotics! Klaire Labs, Prothera, Designs for Health are some of the good ones!  Consult a Natural Care Provider. It is important to buy Probiotics that are ALIVE & KEPT REFRIGERATED and not dead and can sit on a shelf.

Many tests have been conducted and the refrigerated kind are a lot more active, powerful and effective! Dosage of Probiotics: It is critical that you follow the instructions that are on the bottle of the Probiotics, however, it is also important that if your baby is having serious gut issues, you should be working with a person who is very aware of how to use dairy-free probiotics.

According to an Australian study published in BMC Medicine on August 2, 2011 by the Department of Neonatal Pediatrics in Nepean Hospital along with several other Australian hospitals, the following guidelines are best for premature babies: The probiotic should be diluted with breast milk or water, to about 1.0 to 1.5ml per dose. • Neonates less than 32 weeks gestation: 3 x 109 cfu/day (“cfu” stands for colony forming units) • Extremely low birth weight neonates (ELBW): 1.5 x 109 cfu/day until they reach enteral feeds of 50-60 ml/kg/day.

When to Start and Stop Your Baby on Vegan Probiotics!  

According to Dr. Mercola, Probiotics should be started as early as possible, before pathogens can colonize your baby’s intestinal tract and before antibiotics destroy his natural flora. Dr. Mercola reported that in most scientific trials, probiotics are typically started with the start of enteral feedings, but they have been started as early as in the first four hours of life. In addition, many mothers start probiotics during pregnancy if they themselves have stomach problems, allergies, reflux or other intestinal dysbiosis. fruit cup

Recipe for a Vegan Probiotic filled Yummy Yummy Coconut Yogurt!

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time:  24 hours Makes: 1 quart Ingredients:

11 ounces of Homemade Coconut Milk or 2 cans full-fat Organic Coconut Milk 2 Probiotic Capsules Instructions:  Blend coconut milk with contents of probiotic capsules. Transfer to a 1 quart glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store somewhere warm, like an oven or a window sill. After 24-48 hours, it should smell like yogurt. It may be runny, more like kefir than yogurt. If you prefer, leave it out longer. After 48-72 hours, it should be thick and have a more tangy flavor. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

*** Side notes:

  1. Use an oven light to help create more warmth.
  2. If you want a sweeter yogurt, mix in Coconut Nectar or Fruit.
  3. Some Probiotics work better than others. please experiment.
  4. The homemade coconut milk doesn’t work as well, but BPA free.
  5. If you are ok with BPA, canned milk works really well & is thicker.

Stay Healthy & Happy! ~ Dr. Dee


Super Moist Vegan Raspberry Pumpkin Spice Cake: Healing Benefits of Raspberries

When things in life look really really bad… it’s time to get to work!

Did you know that when Ludwig van Beethoven discovered he was going deaf at age 26, he didn’t give up composing his music? Beethoven started working more diligently and told people he knew there was work he was born to complete…

When our newborn son was diagnosed with H-Pylori, a bacterial infection of the stomach, we were told there was nothing we could do but give him antibiotics and synthetic medications that would cause all sorts of horrible side effects and probably not cure his infection.  So our choices were to give up or be inspired by Beethoven!

Helicobacter pylori or H pylori is a bacteria that causes peptic and duodenal ulcers and many other types of stomach inflammations that cause burning, pain, nausea, bloating and extreme distress. In some people, some strains of the bacteria do not cause any symptoms, while other strains develop life threatening conditions like stomach cancer.

Inspired by Beethoven, instead of believing there was nothing I could do, I went straight to work and was more determined to find some relief for our 8 month old infant. I started researching what people around the world were doing to naturally cure H-Pylori.  

This mom on a mission discovered so much more about fruits which have strong antibacterial qualities and are potent in treating Helicobacter pylori and many diseases. Fruits heal because they are also rich in phytonutrients which are antibacterial, anti carcinogenic, and antiviral in nature.

In addition, I discovered there are many other natural powerhouses that can help slow down the growth and pain associated with the ulcers and bacteria, which gives the gut a chance to heal. Some of these natural remedies are: Tumeric, Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fresh Wasabi, Baking Soda, Broccoli Sprouts, Mastic gum and of course, Raspberries.  Luckily, Bodhi’s favorite remedy is Raspberry.

raspberry cake top 3.png

Raspberries are considered a Super-Fruit and really carry a lot of healing power in every little berry.

Tests conducted at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina have revealed that the human body benefits from raspberries in so many ways.

The Medical Benefits of Raspberries:

  • Raspberries have Ellagic acid, an anti-inflammatory, kills Cancer cells & kills H-Pylori Bacteria.
  • Raspberries do not have any fat, saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol.
  • They are high in Fiber, Vitamin C, potassium and folate.
  • Raspberries contain antioxidants such as Quercetin & Gallic acid.
  • Gallic acid fights against cancer, heart and circulatory disease and age.
  • They are also high in polyphenolic compounds which also fight cancer.
  • The Anthocyanins in raspberries are antioxidants that protect against heart disease & mental decline.
  • The oil from raspberry seeds is rich in Vitamin E & Omega-3 fatty acids.

Raspberries can be eaten any way you like: fresh, frozen, cooked or preserved, the ellagic acid remains intact even after cooking or preservation. Make sure that you have a continuous supply of ellagic acid in your diet to prevent the recurrence of the H-Pylori condition, which is very common.

When Beethoven lost the majority of his hearing and his greatest love… he composed Immortal Beloved, When life handed me tart raspberries… I made Sweet Raspberry Cake!  🙂

Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Raspberry Pumpkin Cake… a Yummy Yummy dessert that is so soft and moist, it’s filled with healing raspberries, and is just one big tasty holiday party in your mouth!  This cake has all of your favorite holiday spices, but with a frosting that has a twist!

Yes, there is sugar, but it is super Moist, Vegan and Gluten Free! Shhh your guests and family will never ever know!

2014-10-26 20.08.22_resized

Vegan & Gluten Free Raspberry Pumpkin Spice Cake:

Cake Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 Cup homemade pumpkin puree 
  2. 1/8 teaspoon of Fresh Ginger Shavings
  3. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  5. 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted.
  6. 1/4 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk, room temp (or coconut, rice milk) 
  7. 2 Tablespoons Coconut Nectar (or Molasses, Agave) 
  8. 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract 
  9. 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  11. 1 teaspoon of All Spice 
  12. 3/4 teaspoon of Ground Cloves 
  13. 1/2 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg  
  14. 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Gluten-Free All-purpose Flour 
  15. 2 teaspoons Baking Powder  
  16. pinch of Sea Salt (optional)  

Instructions for Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 3 medium ramekins with cooking spray. 
  2. Wash your sugar pumpkin and clean it inside and out. 
  3. Dry pumpkin, cut a round cap, then cut pumpkin into slices & squares. 
  4. Remove pumpkin skin, then boil Pumpkin Meat squares until soft. 
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, whisk to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine room temp milk & melted coconut oil. 
  7. Once Meat is boiled, place in a high speed blender with Ginger, blend.  
  8. Now add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  9. Evenly pour the batter into each prepared ramekin.
  10. Bake about 28-30 minutes, until center is set & toothpick comes clean.
  11. Allow cake to cool in ramekin, on top of a wire rack, for at least 30 minutes before placing on the rack to finish cooling completely. While cake cools, make the frosting.

Frosting 

  1. 1/4 Cup softened Coconut Butter (or butter of choice)
  2. 2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  3. 3-4 Tablespoons of Coconut Milk (or milk of choice) 
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine vegan butter, 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons Vegan milk of choice, and beat with an electric mixer on medium high speed until smooth. If needed, drizzle in more milk until desired frosting consistency is reached. If frosting is too loose, add a bit more confectioners’ sugar or milk until you have desired consistency. 

 Raspberry Garnish

  1. 3 packages of Raspberries
  2. Set 1/3 of the raspberries aside to garnish the cake.
  3. Using a small knife, split the remaining raspberries down the middle so they can be opened flat.
  4. Put one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with one third of the frosting and add one half of the split berries.  
  5. Add a second layer and repeat with another third of the frosting and the remaining split raspberries.  
  6. Top with the last layer of cake and remaining frosting, garnish top with the remaining raspberries.  

Oh your house is going to be filled with the aroma of the holiday spirit! This will be an absolute hit with all your family and guests!  Looking forward to hearing how much you loved this Yummy Yummy treat!

Stay healthy & happy ~ Dr. Dee


HEAL YOUR LIFE

HEAL YOUR LIFE

Thanks for visiting and welcome to my Blog about the Recipes, Remedies and reflections that have been tools in our quest for Healthy Living.

Its important to share how everything led me to this very moment…

The majority of my life I have been involved in sports, working out, eating right and overall healthy living. I thought I was a healthy person who would live long and have healthy children…

Although I have been into fitness and healthy eating since I was a teenager, I experienced a rude awakening when in 1998, my 3 year old baby boy was diagnosed with leukemia and struggled for his life.

After two casts on each of his UNBROKEN but severely swollen arms, after bruising all over his body, after his legs went almost completely paralyzed, after drinking and peeing excessively 30 times a day… Several different emergency rooms and doctors continued to tell me that he was just a little boy growing and was very accident prone and faking his severe pain.

On the final day that permanently changed our lives, we were at a VERY FUN AND SPECIAL BIRTHDAY PARTY for a 4 year old. There were yummy appetizers, Clowns everywhere, real mini trains to ride, games and Magicians in every room… My son could not be any more excited!

As I held a camera to capture him running to jump on one of the trains, his legs gave out and my camera and heart sunk… I ran to scoop him up as he frowned with shock and confusion. He didn’t care about the pain, he had learned to live with pain, he was just so darn sad about not getting on the train… HE WAS NOT FAKING IT!

I rushed him to the ER once again. This time his legs didn’t work, his face was covered in red splotches, his hand was swollen, especially his pinky finger… They kept us there for 3 days, they had 8 doctors and specialist examine him from every department, but none of them had a definitive diagnoses… they said it was probably a rare disease that had not been discovered… and tried to send us home with a, “We will call you”.

I had just finished receiving my Doctoral training and Childhood Leukemia was a big subject matter that stood out for me… I told them he had all of the symptoms of leukemia. They said leukemia was an impossible diagnoses and they refused to do a lumbar puncture because his blood work continued to be in the “normal range” and the insurance company would not approve it.

Needless to say, I learned there is no “Normal”, we are all unique, we don’t all fit in a nice little box!
I LITERALLY REFUSED TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL with my baby who looked like he was on his death bed. Again, the doctors said without a solid diagnoses the insurance would not pay for our hospital stay. I felt as if I was in some kind of Twi-light Zone.  How was this happening, I had top of the line insurance?!?

I put up the fight of my life and what turned out to be the fight that saved my son’s life.  After I agreed to sign a hundred documents of liability and promised to pay for all of the costs involved, I was able to finally convince them to reluctantly perform the lumbar puncture.

They tried to force me to wait outside during the procedure, but I refused to leave my baby boy alone… I was a single mom who lives far from family so it was just me and my Pookie Bear at the time. I had never been so scared to be a single mommy as I was in this very moment. :-/

The Hematologist who performed the lumbar puncture was supposed to be the best pediatric hematologist in the West Coast. As she tried to insert the long device in his spine, it would not give… it was stuck. She kept shoving the device, she began to sweat, she kept trying different spots on his spine, and then she finally had to practically hammer it in him. I thought she was a quack.  Why did my little baby boy have to go through this?

Pookie was only semi-sedated so he was whaling and aching with pain as he arched his back with every poke.  His eyes rolled behind his head and he kept gasping… They assured me he would not remember a thing, but this brought no comfort to a frightened mommy watching her baby being jabbed by a doctor who said the procedure would be an easy in and out.  I had flashes of me yanking him off the table, running to the elevator and getting away from these crazy people…

I will never forget the look of terror on that physician’s face… she looked at me with a look of complete and utter disbelief and fear. After about 30 minutes- swarms of people started to surround me and offer me food and water, holding my hand and asking if I had family nearby.  All I could do was my baby really closely!

I had that sinking feeling inside but nobody was saying a thing… nobody! Later I learned they were all waiting for the official laboratory results to come in to confirm his leukemia.  The Hematologist knew he had A.L.L. when the device would not go in his spine… 

My son was so completely impacted with leukemia , the doctors had no idea how he was still alive. His poor little spine and bones were so brittle and his condition was so fragile that they immediately began emergency surgery.  They said if I had not brought him in, he probably would not have made it much longer…

Remember this is after several rounds of Emergency Room visits and about 20 doctors office visits who all said for about a year that he was a PERFECTLY HEALTHY boy… They kept saying boys who truly feel sick don’t smile so much and that everything was just fine! Over and over they kept saying that I was just a first time mommy who worried too much and he was just an active toddler with bruises and bumps. No big deal .  :-/

All of a sudden the room started to spin, they had me sign about 50 forms and started hooking him up to an IV. Before I could blink… my Pookie Bear was rushed into heart surgery to have have a Port attached to his heart valve.  I remember the heart surgeon came in to sit with me, he held my hand and he slowly, calmly explained to me exactly where he was going to cut, and assured me he was going to be just fine.

I don’t know if my memory is accurate- but I could swear he was dressed in all white, that his hair was white and his teeth were the whitest I had ever seen… He looked and spoke softly like an angel. I think he walked on clouds and I even heard harps playing in the room… lol 🙂

As I sat there on pins and needles, I spoke to all the angels and begged that my little baby would be ok.  After what seemed like an eternity, he came through the surgery with flying colors! He asked for the food and ice cream I promised him and wanted to know when he could get up and play! He never complained… NOT ONCE! He was the strongest person I had ever met and I finally started to breath again!

I asked the doctors what caused this, what could I do to help him heal, what could I do??? What could I do??? Over and over I was told by the doctors that he had Cancer for so long that there was nothing I could do for him but make sure he receives his chemotherapy and radiation- and to never miss an appointment for the next three years.  I was told he needed so much chemotherapy and radiation that if he was to survive, he probably would never write, draw or learn appropriately…

I refused to believe there was nothing I could do for my baby… I started to read and read and read… research research research! In addition, I started to read to HIM even more, we started practicing drawing, counting… I was not giving up on him.  I live an hour away from my parents and due to his fragile state and suppressed immune system, only doctors, nurses and myself could be in his room, so 90% of the time it was just me and my baby. While he slept, I read, studied and learned about Natural Solutions.

I learned so much about how other countries were using Nature, such as fresh juicing, organic eating and healthy living to help cure Diseases of all types.  I immediately started juicing for my baby boy.  I immediately removed all toxins from his environment… When we were not at the hospital, he was getting tons of Sunshine and fresh Beach Air.  We went completely Organic and removed all pesticides, hormones and antibiotics from our diet.  Our life style dramatically changed.  Although they convinced me that I had to give him chemotherapy for the next three years, I elected to not give him radiation so he could have a chance at having children.

They warned me that it would take forever to get the cancer out of his system, that he would test positive many times before he would be clear… but instead of more bad news, I was told that something INCREDIBLE happened- he went from having a poor prognosis for survival to having no sign of Cancer. WHAT???

Was it the chemotherapy, was the intense juicing and healthy smoothies, was it the Organic eating, natural remedies, was it the positive affirmations and his positive attitude or was it the millions of prayer he was receiving? Honestly, I think it was all of the above.

We lived in the hospital for the next three years… For the first year, at least 5 to 7 days of the week we lived at the hospital or the Ronald McDonald House.
His struggle touched so many people, he received hundreds of food casseroles, cards, drawings, prayers and love from so many people. I am so thankful for my incredible boss who gave me the time off, who never complained… and my mom who would come when she could…

We had to live in a bubble for so long… every time he was exposed to family or the public he contracted a virus or illness and became very sick. He constantly had a fever, and almost died twice… I had just moved from Los Angeles County so everyone was so far away… it was a dark time in our lives, but searching for cures and treatments inspired me and kept me going.

All the parents in the Cancer ward lived in a state of anxiety and fear… Kids silently disappeared in the wee hours of the night- some were his roommates, some were the kids he played with a couple of days before… Code Blue Code Blue, Nurses running, Doctors running… a sudden silence, but nobody said a word!  Everybody praying for that baby, everybody praying that their baby was not next.

My son never complained about the chemo, about throwing up, about the large shots, about the lumbar punctures… he just wanted yummy food and wanted to know why his hospital friends kept disappearing? 😦

I was determined from that moment forward to learn how to help these kids and their parents… How are Food, Nature and Healthy Living Skills capable of helping kids? Why are we not applying these natural remedies in this country?  I learned how genetics play a role in diseases, how genes combined with our partners genes play a role.  I learned so much about Food and what a gamble it is to just buy food off the shelf with out knowing or understanding what is in the ingredient list.. Pharmaceuticals do have a place in our world, but not always the big role they have created!

Fast forward, My son is now 18 years old and has never tested positive for leukemia again. His treatment protocol lasted about 5 years instead of three years, but he can read, write, count and is very articulate and an extremely intelligent young man.  I cried the first time he drew a picture, the first time he did a math problem and when he learned how to read. 

It turns out that the original hematologist who diagnosed my son was a wonderful and compassionate woman. She and all of the other Oncologists, Nurses and Volunteers have one of the toughest jobs in the world.  They all were doing their best with the information they had been taught in their traditional schools. Nobody had taken the time to tell them that there are things we can do to make the Chemo treatment plan more effective and that food can play an active role in healing.  

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I have since continued my educational training and I became a Holistic Nutritionist. I have another baby boy who is now approaching 3 years old. He has had his own struggles with health… various gastro-intestinal issues that I had never even heard of before he was born.  This time I thought I was ready to take anything on, this time I was prepared… Again, I continue to learn that I don’t know what I don’t know.

So what are the Genetics involved with leukemia and other diseases? What is the real Prenatal care you can do that doctors are too busy to tell you about? Why are some healthy Foods a Medicine for you but a Poison to others?  How are Allergies related to Disease? Are eczema and Psoriasis just no big deal?

Most of all, I have learned to trust myself as a mommy… to tell every parent I know to trust those natural parent instincts… they are powerful and they were given to you to protect our young! Every child is different, if you feel something is amiss… Check it out! Do the research! Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion until you feel at total peace!

Im looking forward to sharing my recipes, remedies and reflections. Thank you to all the parents who have confided their painful and happy baby stories and pregnancy experiences. I can tell you that hearing your voice transform from fear and confusion to peace and understanding has made this long journey worth while! 

Thanks again, see you soon and please feel free to request a topic of interest! Dr. D

Recipes, Remedies and Reflections: How Leukemia changed our lives