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Posted on 12/17/2012

As I share my story and the reasoning for the choice of ingredients in CaveChick cookies I always hope that someone picks up on the importance food choice plays in personal health. Sometimes others share their stories of overcoming illness when they used food choice to nourish their bodies, which in turn, boosts their immune system. Recently, I met a man who's story shocked me. The conversation began with him letting me know he was getting back into the work force, after a brief retirement, since learning of his wife's recent diagnosis with breast cancer. I inquired if his wife was on a diary free and plant based diet. He assured me that she was plus, eating a plant strong and an alkaline promoting diet. As we ended our conversation I asked again if she was truly on a dairy free diet. Again he said, “Yes”.

About 10 minutes later the man reappeared. He was curious that twice I had mentioned a dairy free diet and wanted to talk more as his wife was still consuming some dairy, mostly yoghurt.

Did you know approximately seventy percent of the breast cancers experienced are estrogen based? (1) Our breasts, male and female, are hormone sensitive organs. Facts be, our bodies are overloaded with estrogen from toxins in our environment, personal care products, household cleaners and furnishings and from food we choose to eat. The two sources of added estrogen that are easiest to control vs say, air pollution, are our personal and household product choices and food choices. Let's concentrate on diet or more appropriately, what we choose to eat. We can control our diet. That is, we are in direct control of what we choose to consume to nourish our body.

I explained to the gentleman that, if consumed, diary products and animal fats are huge sources of added estrogen to our body's load. When you focus on dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, byproducts) and how much is consumed on a daily basis, you can begin to understand that dietary change is critical in reducing the estrogen load on a body system. Ganmaa Davaasambuu, physician (Mongolia), Ph.D. in environmental health (Japan), fellow (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), and working scientist (Harvard School of Public Health) says dairy product consumption accounts for 60 to 80 percent of ingested estrogen plus added growth hormones. (2) The man looked at me a little perplexed. “The doctor just removed my wife's ovaries to reduce estrogen in her system,” he said.

Prophlactic oophorectomy is the removal of the ovaries to "prevent cancer". According to the Mayo clinic website, mayoclinic.com, "removing the ovaries greatly reduces the amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone circulating in the body. This can halt or slow breast cancers that need these hormones to grow." Although oophorectomy is generally used to prevent ovarian cancer it is used to prevent breast cancer. The caveat to consider, according to the Mayo clinic, is the "lingering risk of cancer" as it doesn't "completely eliminate your risk of breast cancer or ovarian cancer." It's curious that such a drastic measure 'to prevent' doesn't prevent! Removing the ovaries does nothing to strengthen an immune system either.

While modern Western medicine recognizes estrogen as a carcinogen (3) it routinely points total blame to the estrogen that is produced within our own bodies. Hence, I believe, the reason for the woman's surgical procedure. Does Western medicine really view our body as something that has defects needing to be fixed?  I like to believe our body is smart and strong but sometimes succumbs to outside sources placing challenges on it. So why was such a drastic procedure used? Why weren't dietary changes implemented immediately in estrogen reduction? The ovaries perform an important role in the balance of our body systems. Once removed they are gone forever along with all their benefits. (Think about it. Removal could cause one to be dependent on pharmaceuticals for any future hormone needs. The doctor could have a life long customer.)

Yes, cancer is a frightening diagnosis. We want immediate action. Surgery is immediate action. It is also profitable for the doctor and medical industry. Illness is big business. Think of all the jobs created by an ill society! It's important to remember the doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are products. They have goods and services to sell. I believe as wise consumers, it is up to us to educate ourselves to all product choices whether we are buying a car, house, choosing college, food or medical services.

The California Breast Research Foundation, The University of California, states that “ a recent text on breast cancer estimates the relapse rate for patients diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer to be 20– 30 percent, for Stage II 40–60 percent, and for Stage III, greater than 90 percent. About 75 percent of recurrences will occur within five years of diagnosis; however, more recent figures indicate that widespread adjuvant therapy has pushed back the time of relapse for those who do recur.”(4) An adjuvant therapy is a pharmacological or immunological agent that modifies the effect of other agents, such as a drug or vaccine. (Note that adjuvant is not diet or lifestyle changes.) The medical community uses a 5-7 year marker of cancer free success. A little insight into this will shed light on the importance of dietary and lifestyle choices. Our cells turn over constantly, all at different rates. It is estimated that every 5-7 years we are literally a new person. (5) If you believe that diet and lifestyle are the leading indicator/cause of health or disease you can assume that something in how we lead our life allowed the 'disease' to take hold. If the correct changes to diet and lifestyle aren't addressed when your cells rejuvenate your system would not have the ability to make the necessary changes for cellular health. This would mean you most probably have the 'disease' again. If an organ or tissue had been removed from your body, disease will settle in the next weakest spot. Invading armies are smart!

As Dr. Frank Oski, Don't Drink Your Milk!, and Robert Cohen, Milk the Deadly Poison, write, there are other factors in dairy products that are contradictory to good health and your body's ability to fight invasions. Let's start by saying dairy products are a very common allergen and intolerance. Even my doggies are dairy free!  Dairy products are also highly bacterial.  These traits could cause your immune system to be preoccupied thus unavailable to defend against rogue cell mutations and germ warfare.  (Note:  I haven't been sick or in need of antibiotics since I stopped consuming dairy in 1995.  Coincidence?)   Dairy products are mucous producing and inflammatory. Dairy products put your system into an acidic state. This causes a release of calcium from bones to neutralize. Are you thinking osteoporosis?  Dairy also lacks the necessary partner vitamins that facilitate proper calcium absorption, such as magnesium.  Bovine dairy products also have the unique match to human growth hormones. Just think that every time you eat Bovine dairy products you are boosting cell growth within your body. Cancer cells included!

One thing to remember is that eating is an action designed to nourish our body! It's interesting how far away we have come from this idea. Far too many people believe eating is just a 'fill up your stomach' activity. What else can this type of eating be considered when what's eaten are void of nutrients? White bread, white pasta, french fries, potato chips, corn chips, manufactured breakfast cereals, ice cream, milk, cheese, burgers and hot dogs have no nutrients to offer. This is sad and the items listed are part of the SAD diet, Standard American Diet. (6) This reality of eating to nourishing is so far removed and I say very reflective of our state of health. We are a society of over fed and undernourished people. Our health is totally reflective of this. I believe that many think wellness comes from a pill. I believe the unspoken mantra of society is, 'Eat what you want, get nutrients from a vitamin pill and get wellness from a pharmaceutical pill.' This is so wrong! All living species were designed to get our health from the foods consumed.  Surprisingly, humans purposely consume foods void of nutrients.  It is crazy but how many of you know people that joke about only eating the unhealthiest foods?   It is logical to conclude that disease and weakening of the species will occur due to lack of necessary vital nutrients from whole foods. The basis of a strong immune system is a plant strong diet. Dr Mercola states, “Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens while others regulate the rate at which cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA.” (7) So I say the more veggies the better!

The health of our bodies is important to all of us. Let's really consider food choices and medical services options. From a personal perspective I am able to say that food choice does improve health.   By removing dairy products from my family's diet in 1995 we have had no need for antibiotics or over the counter medications. I have first hand experience to say that ear & sinus infections, 'colds & flu, asthma, bronchitis, skin conditions, acne, bacterial infections, carpel tunnel, Ebstiens-Barr, candida, chronic fatigue and blood leukemia markers were addressed or eliminated with dairy removal. It's important to remember to cultivate a strong immune system. Why? Because it is our line of defense against invasion. A wise diet also builds a strong immune system that is better able to defend against rouge cells and external viruses and bacteria. If your immune system is so busy trying to combat the toxins that are purposefully consumed how will it have the strength to combat illness or disease? Listen to your body when choosing what to eat.

From CaveChick's point of view it is important to seriously consider major dietary and lifestyle changes to combat any disease or general health improvement plan.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/breast_cancer_risk_factors/index.html

(2) http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/12.07/11-dairy.html

(3) http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/publications/in-vivo/Vol2_Iss10_may26_03/in... 2)

(4) http://cbcrp.org/publications/papers/Mayer/page_02.php

(5) http://stemcell.stanford.edu/research/

(6) http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/family-nutrition/standard-american-diet...

(7) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/most-ameri...

http://www.naturalnews.com/002695_Robert_Cohen_cows_milk.html

Cohen, Robert, MILK The Deadly Poison, Argus Publishing, inc., 1998.

Oski, M.D., Frank, Don't Drink Your MILK!, Teach Services, Inc., 2010.

Posted on 10/23/2012

'Milk Free Monday'!

Did you know that dairy products are not necessary for a healthy life? In fact, dairy products are a contradiction.  A few significant drawbacks to dairy product consumption arise from the highly bacterial concentrations, bovine hormones (yes, even the organic and raw), mucous producing properties and highly allergenic elements.

One of the first books I read, and recommend, was Don't Drink Your Milk, by Dr. Frank Oski,  former Director of the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University.  In this book he states, "no mammalian species, except for the human (and the domestic cat), is milk consumption continued after the weaning period [the period of breast-feeding]. Calves thrive on cow milk. Cow milk is for calves."  Everything about the design of a particular mammalian breed is designed to optimize the growth of that specific infant breed.  For instance, we are not cows and should not be consuming the infant growth 'food' for cows.  Our systems reject 'milk' in the form of disease from allergy and intolerance symptoms left unaddressed.  Dr. Oski noted that to be considered a candidate for a cow's milk allergy a patient would exhibit "(1) persistent or recurrent nasal congestion; attacks of asthma or chest infections; (2) persistent or recurrent skin rash; (3) vomiting or diarrhea (persistent or recurrent)".   That sure sounded like my family!

I decided to take dairy products out of my family's diet.  It was like a miracle.

We have been dairy free since 1995. Most notable improvement in my life is being acne free and having a super duper immune system. I just don't get sick. No doctor visits, no medications!

My children have been raised dairy free since 1995 and have been healthy since 1995. At the time their ages were 7, 5 and 1. Having spent those first 7 years of family life at the pediatricians office regularly it is worth noting that once dairy products were removed from their diets the need for the doctor, antibiotics and other meds totally vanished. Most notable improvements were no more; ear infections, skin conditions, bronchitis (asthma), strep, fevers and sinus problems. No antibiotics since 1995!

My family is no longer a doctors dream!  You can free yourself from the wasted time of illness and doctor visits and the damage you are doing to your immune system too.   Milk is not the perfect food we have been taught thought a multitude of marketing campaigns.  Dairy free is easy to do and so rewarding.

Do you suffer from strep, acne, sinus problems, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, chronic bacterial infections, ear infections, runny nose, stomach issues, behavioral issues, autism, IBS, Crohns disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis , kidney stones, autoimmune conditions or female issue such as heavy periods, endometriosis, cancer......? Consider these diseases or as I like to call them, symptom labels, as your possible symptoms of dairy consumption.

Try the Dairy Free Challenge. Omit all forms of dairy products for 4 weeks. (No cheating!) Note your health improvements.

Posted on 07/18/2012

Bountiful Beets and Basil of Summer

Visit any farmers market, grocery store or open your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box and you know what is in season now......beets, basil and more. What to do with all these available farmed goodies? I'd like to share a recipe you will find an inspiration and colorful bounty of goodness.

This salad offers the whole food nutrition of fresh farmed gems and whole grain barley. Just a highlight to this goodness are the potassium and Vit A in beets and fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and iron in barley. Plus by pairing the whole grain barley with beans, a complete protein is achieved making this dish a very suitable meal!

I can't call this my own but it is highly adaptable. I'm sure you will find your own favorite way to create and enjoy!

Bountiful Beet and Barley Salad

1 cup Hulled Barley, cooked

3 medium/large Beets, cooked* and cubed

1 can navy or cannelloni beans, rinsed

Small bunch Fresh basil, chopped

2-3 Scallions, chopped

1 Garlic Top, sliced thin (when available)

1-2 Lemons, juiced

Olive Oil or Flax Oil, if desired

Salt & Pepper to taste (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. It's fun to note that the more you mix the pinker the salad becomes. Serve room temperature or chilled.

* To cook Beets place rinsed whole beets in a pot of water. Cover and boil 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of beets. Skin will peel easily when done. Drain water and cool. Peel skin, cube.

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Posted on 03/27/2012

Yes! Spring is here and with it is the freshness of new growth, new life and new possibilities. As the outdoors is bursting with all this excitement so is the indoors. We want clean, fresh and new in our homes to match that of nature. We turn to 'Spring Cleaning' as our way of regenerating our spaces.

I'm often asked what cleaning products I use to in my home to keep it clean and toxin free. Recent years has given rise to many environmentally friendly cleaning products but these come with a hefty price tag. As the CaveChick I like to keep it simple.

For wood floors and furniture I use a rag dampened with water and a splash of distilled vinegar. Whip and dry immediately. I was told by a furniture expert that we make a mistake by cleaning with the oil based products as it leaves a film on the wood that just keeps building up with each application. Distilled vinegar is also very economical at just pennies a mixture. I use about a 4:1 ratio of water to distilled vinegar for floors and about 6:1 for furniture.

Distilled vinegar is also great for cleaning bathroom surfaces and glass. Some years back I found, quite by accident, a better alternative. (See blog post, Make Your Own Cleaning Products, 2/26/10) I love to use Original Listerine or the generic versions available! Mix the Original Listerine and water in about a 2:1 or 50/50 solution in a spray bottle. This is perfect for the bathroom sinks, toilets, mirrors, glass, fixtures, tile and counter tops. It's perfect for all the windows in your house! Add the Original Listerine to a bucket of water and it's great for the tile floors too! (Do not use on wood surfaces as the alcohol will dry the wood.) The best part is the fresh clean smell of the eucalyptus.......and it's cheap, cheap, cheap.

To clean stainless steel I wipe surface with a soft scrubby sponge sprinkled with Bon Ami. I then take a soft wet (not drippy wet) dish rag and wipe surface clean. Finally, I dry with a clean dry dish towel. Sparkling stainless each and every time.

I hope I've offered you many inexpensive, non-toxic and fresh smelling ideas to make your home sparkle the CaveChick way.

Posted on 03/02/2012

Cavechick Story

CaveChick, Inc. is the passion of mine, a mom and original CaveChick. Call me, The Nutritional Foodie! A labor of love, the recipes for these perfect cookies are those I developed in the mid 90's for my 3 children – my family, in response to their health and nutritional needs. I found conventional ingredients were making my family sick. We changed our food choices to minimally processed ingredients including heirloom grains, more nutritious sweeteners and organic whenever possible. We also eliminated foods that caused allergic and intolerance reactions specific to each of us. This led to my family regaining a healthy immune system and eliminating common chronic ailments.

Knowing the healthiest diet is like that of a caveman, using foods as they come from nature, but I still wanted my family to enjoy modern treats. Like cookies! So I had to relearn how to cook. Little did I know I was developing the best tasting and most naturally nutritious cookie recipes ever! Now, I bake these cookies for you and your customers. CaveChick cookies are available to make snacking better and healthy.

I'm a woman that cares about every ones health and quality of life. I want to share my recipes to offer quality food and snacks that tastes great. My mission is helping to guide you to your healthiest diet one cookie at a time. You have a desire to understand and learn about food, nutrition and allergies. Let's start the lesson with cookies! Any CaveTummy would crave the Non-GMO ingredients, ancient heritage organic 100% whole grain spelt, brown flax seed for healthy Omega 3's, and sustainable, nutritious maple sugar. The CaveChick cookie recipes are allergen friendly and Vegan so you know there was no need to raid the pterodactyl nest or milk a mastodon to make CaveChick Chocolate Chip, DoubleDevil, Oats & Raisin or CaveDoodle cookies. P.S. Alcohol free real vanilla is used in all the cookies too! (Please note: Made on equipment that processes dairy, eggs, soy and nuts. Contains: Wheat, Chocolate chips contain Soy Lecithin)

CaveChicks, CaveMoms & CaveDads, CaveGrandmas & CaveGrandpas, even CaveDudes and CaveKids will love the great tasting, ready to eat cookies with allergen considerations and nutrition in line. I'm proud to share with you the best cookies ever to be enjoyed! Remember eating is nourishment for your body, even when eating a cookie! Enjoy CaveChick cookies and enjoy great health too.

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