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Holistic Nutrition & Prevention

Engaging in daily colon cleanses wouldn’t have even dawned on Terry Ames in his pre-cancer days. It’s not exactly a “typical guy” thing one would consider, he says. Nor was this whole business of daily juicing and super food smoothies, or yoga for that matter. Besides, life was too chaotic in the seasonal golf industry in which he worked at the time. Time-strapped and feeling stressed from the new software system that was resulting in disgruntled customers and staff, he was lucky to even find a moment to down a hot dog for lunch at 2 p.m. on most days. But if there’s something he’s learned from his radical remission it’s that if one is to survive the odds of beating cancer it needs to be a “team approach” and one that raises the question, “What can I do to build up my body?”

“I really think the approach has to be a team approach, including your oncologist, the health food store, the live blood analyst, the yoga person, your family – every single person has a role to play in that journey because not one of these people has all the answers,” Ames, a Greater Sudbury resident explains.

Ames’ signs of cancer first appeared in November 2006

“Something wasn’t right,” Ames recalls. “I had a pain in my neck. I was feeling yucky and had low energy.”

He had visited a physician at a local clinic and a chiropractor, who suggested an x-ray, which hadn’t revealed anything at the time. In February 2007 he had developed a cough and underwent more x-rays, which again showed nothing. By May 2007 the cough was still lingering so, without a family doctor, he visited a clinic again and more x-rays were ordered. This time the x-ray revealed a mass on his chest, on top of his lungs. Ames, at the age of 34, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the cells of the lymphatic system. The pain he was experiencing in his neck was as a result of swollen lymph nodes.

Thus began his journey with chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and eventually radiation, none of which worked to eradicate the cancer, despite the fact there was a 75 per cent success rate with chemo, he says. By 2008 he was deemed incurable. The prognosis was six months, at best, to live. Go home and be with family; there was nothing they could do, he was told. “We knew what we were doing wasn’t working so my team and I decided to start researching other options,” Ames says. “I’m a big supporter of our cancer centre, but they are limited in what’s available and what’s approved here in Canada.

“My three kids were young and no one was allowing us to give up so we started researching alternative options.”

By then he was already following some aspects of natural health solutions for the cancer, particularly since his wife’s father had traveled to the Gerson Institute for his cancer years ago, so they had made use of the knowledge gained from that experience.

The Gerson Therapy, developed by Dr. Max Gerson, MD, is based on the premise that chronic diseases, and diseases like cancer, are caused by toxicity and nutritional deficiency. The belief is that foreign invaders of the body have existed since birth. This is where the strength of the immune system is paramount to prevention. It’s not until the immune system is overburdened and breaks down that disease takes hold.

“I had notes and books from Gerson, and knew people who’d gone there with success.” Ames says. “I wasn’t juicing 12 times a day like Gerson’s diet or doing several coffee enemas a day, but I did start juicing twice a day and coffee enemas once a day.”

“I juiced with lots of carrots, beets, spinach, kale; my wife had experience with doing these therapies with her father. One of the reasons for coffee enemas is to stimulate your liver – it stimulates production of glutathione (a primary antioxidant that exists in every cell).” Coffee enemas help to clear the liver of toxins and cleanse the blood. “Especially if you’re doing stuff like chemo you need to get the bad stuff out of your body so your body can cleanse,” Ames stresses.

“As soon as we knew things were going bad we started to do things; even when we first began the journey, once diagnosed, we tried to add healthy stuff. We knew it wasn’t just all that the oncologists were saying, so I started seeing a naturopath and doing vitamin C therapy. “It was brought to my attention that when doing the PET-CT scan it uses uptake of sugar to find cancer cells so it made sense to avoid sugar,” Ames says.

His team would send e-mails that would read “Terry, you should be looking into this.” He’d picked up copy of Bill Henderson’s book Cancer Free – Your Guide to Gentle, Non-Toxic Healing and began following some of its protocols. He enrolled in a meditation class and started doing yoga. Reflecting back on the year 2006 he says “probably stress was the cause of my cancer.” “I did a vegan diet for a year when I was at my worst,” Ames says. “You need to give your immune system as much energy as you can so you can fight this cancer. Whatever you do you have to listen to your body. You need to be your own advocate. If something’s not right you need to keep going until you find (other solutions).”

He and his wife traveled to Germany to a cancer clinic for treatment – a costly approach, which he says he now realizes most of the therapies offered at the clinic are actually available locally in Sudbury, Toronto and Newmarket. They did three trips to Germany and spent about 70 days there, and “it didn’t work.”

They ended up traveling to the Bahamas to a back-country clinic where a specific drug that was being manufactured in Canada, but only approved for use in other parts of the world, was being used. The drug was basically a dead bacteria that acts to trick the immune system to help recognize cancer cells, to trigger an immune response.

“The doctor in the Bahamas, a physician from McGill University, talked about the emotional side of the cancer and mentioned emotional freedom technique,” Ames remembers. “His reason, he had said was “to figure out what’s preventing the cancer from healing.” The drug was proving effective. The tumor began to shrink, so they continued with the therapy. With the tumor substantially reduced, Ames returned home to continue his course of natural therapies – nutrition, supplements, juicing, colon cleanses, meditation, affirmations, yoga – all the elements needed to eliminate the cancer.

On July 20, 2011, a PET-CT scan revealed the cancer was gone.

The doctor had handed him a report with the words “Amazing” written on top, and said to him “There is nothing there. There is no active lymphoma.”

His health journey did not end there. To this day he maintains healthy habits that are immune-boosting and life supporting, like daily green smoothies, juicing, tons of salad and greens each day, yoga and meditation, avoiding red meat and eating more legumes, no processed foods, occassional colonics and more.

“Something wasn’t right that caused the cancer so I ask myself ‘How do I keep my immune system strong to keep the cancer away?'” He went on to publish a book – Beating Cancer, My Survival Guide – which provides ideas, inspiration and hope, not just for those with cancer, but to prevent cancer. All proceeds of the book sales go towards the Terry Ames Care Fund, to provide financial support for families going through cancer.

HIPPOCRATES SOUP

A Gerson Institute recipe featured in Ames’ book.

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • A bunch of fresh parsley
  • Tons of garlic
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes
  • 1 pound of potatoes
  • Add carrots if desired.
  • Boil till tender. Do not add salt.

Ridiculously Easy homemade vegan ice cream

If you’re a label reader you’ve likely noticed over the last few years the disappearance of the word ‘ice cream’ from many popular brands in the grocery store. Some brands are exchanging the word with frozen dessert, while others are letting the consumer fill in the blanks by just featuring the flavour and a delicious-looking three scoops of what clearly looks like ice cream. If you’ve been haphazardly scooping up a tub of ice cream from your local grocer without ever reading the label, you might want to slow down and read a little bit – beyond just the marketing pitch. You know, like the splash of milk on the label that reads “Source of calcium. No artificial colours.” Sou

nds like a perfect bone-building dessert for the tots. Doesn’t it? Well, the same company that touts its ice cream-looking dessert as ‘prepared from natural sources without artificial colours’also features this list as its ingredients in its vanilla one: modified milk ingredients, sugar, milk ingredients, glucose, coconut oil, mono- and diglycerides, propylene glycol, monostearate, cellulose gum, carob bean gum, carrageenan, artificial flavour, colour. Ok, last time I checked my car’s antifreeze was also made with propylene glycol, and who forgot to put cream in this ice cream? But, it does have coconut oil. I’m surprised their marketing gurus haven’t jumped on the bandwagon to put a splashy banner on their label that screams “Made with coconut oil.” Wonder how many of us would buy it if that’s what jumped out at us if we ran into the grocery store all hot and hungry on a mid summer day? I got all excited one day when I saw a can of Del Monte pears that had a big banner across it that read “Packed in water.” That is, until I scrolled down to the fine print at the bottom where it continued…and sweetened with sucralose. They almost hooked me with the “Packed in water” marketing spiel. When it comes to ice cream, few options out there qualify as real ice cream any more, but if you aren’t reading beyond the marketing hype, you may not even notice. Dairy-free options made with coconut milk or cashews are tasty, more natural choices, but if your goal is really natural, not to mention cost-saving, make it yourself. It sounds like a lot of work, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is, and you can make it with two or three ingredients in a matter of minutes. Teach your kids and then they can be making ice cream for you instead.

VEGAN ICE CREAM

(MAKES APPROXIMATELY 8 CUPS)

  • 1 400-ml can coconut milk (not low fat) placed in fridge for at least 3 hours
  • 4 bananas, frozen and cut into slices
  • 2 cups of fruit of choice

Scoop the solidified part of the coconut milk from the can into a food processor or blender. Use the liquid for a smoothie. A high-powered blender works best, but a food processor works too. Add the bananas and fruit. Mix and match as you like, using strawberry and mango, berries, etc. Add 1/8 cup maple syrup if a sweeter taste is desired. Blend until creamy. Scoop into bowls and enjoy or place in a covered bowl and freeze for later. Let thaw 30 minutes before serving.

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How to create a holistic medicine cabinet

I’ve recently experienced a series of events exposing me to bacteria, poison, and virus; it started with an ache in my ear and throat from exposure to bacteria, so I took care of that with natural remedies and it was gone in about two weeks. Then I went up north and was swimming when I got attached by black flies from the neck up; my lymph nodes were painfully swollen from all the poison of their sting. Although I was eventually able to get that under control, my immune system was now weak and I ended up with a chest infection. The good news is, I’m completely recovered and luckily without the need of any medication, not even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. This made me think about what we keep in our medicine cabinet. Are the contents really helping us or hurting us? Below are some common remedies that most people reach for when they are not well, and their affect in the short and long term, as well as alternatives.

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

NSAIDs such as analgesic (pain killing), antipyretic (fever reducing) drugs, or stronger prescription opiates (narcotics) are used for pain. I’m not suggesting that if one is in a lot of pain, not to take any of those, but be aware of side effects and understand that those medications just block the pain, they don’t get rid of the cause. Those drugs damage the intestinal lining and cause dysbiosis (imbalance of intestinal flora which means there’s not enough beneficial bacteria, and overgrowth of bad bacteria). I feel it’s best to avoid those drugs as much as possible, but if you absolutely have to have them, then take probiotics to balance the intestinal flora and help protect your intestinal health. Opiates (narcotics) have even more severe side effects. Those of you who are long-term users of those type of drugs, you may be rejecting this information and thinking I don’t understand your pain. I really empathize with people in pain and understand it well. I’ve had 10 surgeries, including orthopedic surgery, and several broken bones. I usually don’t take any pharmaceutical drugs for pain, and if I have to, it’s just for a day or two at most. Last year however, I fell and broke my pelvis in two places and that pain outranked any past pain I’ve ever had. I was literally flat on my back unable to move for weeks. I was prescribed morphine (one of the most powerful opiates) and it was not even taking the edge off the pain. The pain lasted for months. I could feel and was very aware of the side effects the morphine was having on my body, so I tried to manage with a minimal dose and stopped after three weeks (but I still experienced difficult withdrawal symptoms). I continued to take my cocktail of natural remedies to manage my pain and reduce inflammation.

Natural remedies for inflammation

Quercetin, curcumin, fish oil and ribes nigrum (black current) tincture; homeopathic remedies: arnica pellets and topical cream; also I always take a product for chronic joint pain that contains NEM (natural eggshell membrane). This help increase the body’s production of glucosamine and rebuild joints. Plus to help the healing process, I also took higher dose vitamins C and D.

Antacids

Antacids are another common medication or prescription PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) to reduce or block stomach acid. It’s important to understand that that long term use of those drugs may lead to B12 deficiency because HCl (hydrochloric acid in the stomach) is needed for the production of B12. Low HCl causes malabsorption of nutrients especially protein, which can lead to increased digestive issues and possible food intolerance. I understand that severe GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), can lead to painful ulcers and these conditions are often treated with PPIs, but keep in mind that those drugs completely block the production of HCl and HCl is needed to break down protein into single amino acids that are the building blocks for the protein in our body. Those amino acids are needed for making immune cells to ward off disease, enzymes which are catalysts for every chemical reaction in our body, neurotransmitters which are part of the body’s communication system, also our organs, skin, hair, and much more are all made of protein. In the case of acid reflux and GERD, good alternatives to keep in your holistic medicine cabinet are aloe vera or DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), those can help neutralize acid, reduce inflammation, and heal ulcerations and damage caused from GERD; they can be taken away from meals as to not reduce HCl during meals for better digestion. It’s also a good idea to keep broad spectrum digestive enzymes handy to help improve digestion during meals.

Antiemetic drugs (for nausea and vomiting)

The most common OTC antiemetic drugs have an ingredient list of many toxic chemicals, including titanium dioxide, talc, and even “Yellow No. 6” food colouring which has been shown to cause cancer, ADHD, hyperactivity, and allergic reactions. The CSPI (Centre for Science in the Public Interest) said this food dye causes many health risks and is summoning the FDA to ban Yellow No. 6 specifically. If you experience nausea and vomiting, try making some ginger tea; also smelling peppermint or lemon essential oil can help relieve nausea. (more…)