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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Peace is the Gift...

Wishing you the gift of Peace
as this year whispers to a close...

May you find God's arms holding you close,
no matter the noise or grief or hurt,
and bringing calm to your heart.

My Love,

Monday, December 25, 2017

Love has a Name...

Even in the midst of grief, the Christmas season holds a magic...

The beauty.  The music.  The expectation shining bright in little one's eyes.

We gather to celebrate, we laugh, we hug, we feast.  All the while feeling the missing deep.  I find myself drawn to the mystery of that manger scene...

Do you think about Mary?  Do you think she knew the grief that would be her son's purpose?  Did she know the sorrow that would crack her heart wide?  I have this hope that she was sheltered from the knowledge, allowed the holy privilege of rocking her newborn son, savoring those precious moments when the baby in her arms was hers alone... before the shadow of the cross covered that blessed manger, pronouncing to all, this... this is the Savior of the world.

Love has a name.  JESUS.

The story... HIS story is still being written in our hearts.

From a simple manger to a crucifixion cross...
Christmas is the story of Love.

May this Christmas offer an everlasting Hope
because of a Saviors overcoming Love
no matter what grief shadows your heart.

Love has a name...
The baby in a manger.
Yes, His name is Jesus.

Praying Blessings of Mercy and Grace to all this day.

My Love,

Saturday, December 23, 2017

When the Holidays are colored in Loss...

Losing a loved one during the holiday season changes things...

It's been 3 weeks since Leroy's mom passed away.  The missing comes in waves... Christmas will be so very different this year.

She has been the Rock of our family for as long as I can remember, quiet and faithful, the hub around which we gathered.

Yes, Christmas will be different... the beauty of the season somehow feels at odds with the grief we're wading through.

Tonight we spent time reminiscing over faded photographs.  Seeing her smiling face brought back precious memories... and tears... but happy tears because of the love we see shining back at us.

We have been very loved... and blessed.  Very, very Blessed.

Mildred Alice
June 7, 1931 - December 1, 2017

Loved, Cherished, Remembered

Always Loved!

Friday, December 8, 2017

You Never Let Go

Beautiful song. Beautiful lyrics.

Enduring Promise...

There is a house with many rooms Where I'm gonna be with You someday.
'Cause You never let go. You never let go.
You led me by the hand into a land of green and gold
And You never let go, You never let go
Your love endures forever, wherever I go After all these years-
You led me by the hand into a land of green and gold You never let go, You never let go.
When after all the years have gone and I've grown old And You never let go, You never let go I'm gonna go home
That's all that I know To the arms of a Father Who'll never let me go After all these years, Oh, oh, You never let go Oh, oh, You never let go...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

When Hearts are Hurting...

Sometimes our Good-byes are long in coming, and yet those final moments still leave cuts razor sharp.

Last Friday we lost a dear mother-in-law after an agonizingly long journey with lung cancer and COPD.

The grief is still raw.  She has been a quiet, steadfast rock in our family, holding us close always despite the miles and the years.

How do you say Good-bye?

Over these past few months we have watched her body grow more and more frail.  The hunger for air dominating every waking moment.  The ache in her lungs more acute with each passing day.

Hospice comforted her... and the family... preparing her... preparing us...

And yet, there is never a preparing for the final good-bye.

The loss cuts keenly, but we could never wish her back.  Her pain and suffering have been lifted, she has found such a well deserved rest.  We could never wish her back... even as we sorrow.

But even in the sorrow we find that love transcends even this boundary.  Millie's faith in the Everlasting God and Christ, the Savior-Son, pave the way to an eternal life that we can't begin to imagine!

She is liberated into a freedom beyond compare, and one day we look forward to the grandest reunion of all time.

Such a grand reunion it will be...

Millie, sweet mom-in-law, you have been a God-given Blessing to me.  I can't begin to see the future without you in it, but know that your deep love and abiding faith will be a legacy to guide us...

"But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children."
                                                   ~ Psalm 103:17

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Moment of Gratitude...

Thanks and Giving,
the perfect bookends for a day filled with Joy!

Happy Thanksgiving,
from our home to yours.

Our Love, Always,

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What the Heck is TSP and Why is it in my Cereal?

On the heels of our 31 Day Journey into Beating Cancer and taking to heart a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet, I just happened upon this article and it sent me back into research mode...

Mira Dressy is the Ingredient Guru and is a passionate proponet of Real Food.  She's a nutritional educator and emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle through Whole Foods.

She addressed the confusing debate over TSP, what it is, and why the CDC says it's hazardous to our health but the FDA approves its use in many of our foods...

Mira explains it much better than I could... here's a little excerpt of her findings:

"Trisodium phospate (TSP) is an industrial cleaning product used as a degreasing agent, mildew remover and lead abating agent and to clean interior and exterior walls before painting.

Because of its alkalinizing cleaning properties, TSP was used in dishwashing soap and laundry detergent until it was phased out in 2011 after the EPA found it was harmful to the environment.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends to "Avoid All Contact."  The CDC lists these TSP ingestion symptoms:  abdominal pain, burning sensation, shock, or collapse.

If the EPA says TSP is hazardous to the environment and the CDC tells us to avoid all contact, why does the FDA allow it in our food and personal care products?

So, why is TSP used in our food?

TSP is most commonly used to reduce the acidic nature of foods, especially breakfast cereals, as it modifies cereal color and aids in the cereal's flow through the extruder.

TSP's other uses include:

* Added to meat to retain moisture during storage and cooking

* Acts as a leavening agent to "fluff up" foods like cakes, breads and baked goods.

* Added to cheese to help keep its shape and melting properties

* Used as an antimicrobial cleaner for washing produce.  Poultry is dipped in a TSP solution to potentially kill off bacteria.

Why should we avoid food with TSP?

Studies have shown that ingesting high levels of phosphate (the major mineral in TSP) can cause kidney damage, soft tissue calcification and removal of calcium from bones.  Chronic high levels of phosphate intake can result in osteopenia and ultimately osteoporosis.  TSP also irritates the stomach and intestinal lining as well as reduces lactic acid in muscles.

The FDA has approved 70 mg/kg of body weight as the maximm tolerable limit of TSP that a person should ingest per day.  For a 150 lb person, this translates to 4,772 mg/day.

With TSP in all of these foods, we have no idea if we're ingesting more than the maximum tolerable limit.  So just to be safe, stay away from all foods containing TSP."

Mira makes a logical case for avoiding foods with TSP, but in my research I found many conflicting points of view, including this from

"At the amounts found in food, both TSP and sodium bicarbonate are perfectly safe, as the FDA concludes:  None of the approved sodium phosphate additives are intrinsically harmful and their use in foods does not present a hazard when the total amount of phosphorus ingested and the intakes of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and other nutrients are satisfactory.  The current use of calcium phosphates in food processing is without harmful effects on the health of consumers and, in some instances, may be advantageous."

So, who to believe???

Then I found an article published by Jenny Ruhl that resonated with me... her clear explanations and the backing of many studies just helped me make up my mind... Her article is lengthy and long but so good.  Go here to read it in its entirety.  But for a glimpse at her findings:

"Phospate Additives Promote Hardening of the Arteries.

There is a disturbing link between blood phosphate levels and heart disease.  Many people eating low carb diets have a unique exposure to phosphates because they are added to so many of the meats you buy at the grocery store and order in restaurants.

Inorganic phosphates are 100% bioavailable.  That means if you eat 500 mg of calcium phosphate, disodium phosphate {or trisodium phosphate} that is added to processed foods or supplements, the whole 500 mg will be absorbed.  When it is, it will go into your bloodstream where it will raise your serum phosphate level.

We know from several well-conducted studies that there is a direct link between serium phosphate level and heart disease.  As a recently published review article explains, 'Higher serum phosphate levels were independently associated with coronary artery calcification, vascular stiffness, left ventricular hypertrophy and carotid artery disease.'

An interesting side note to the issue of high serum phosphate is the finding that rising serum phosphates will lower vitamin D production.  If you have abnormally low vitamin D levels when not supplementing vitamin D, this could be pointing to the fact that your serum phosphate level is unhealthily high." 

That was enough information for me.  In choosing a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet, I will be avoiding TSP in my diet.  It is one more reason to love the transition to eating real food... I have come to believe that while the levels of TSP may not be alarming according to the FDA, I can make the choice to avoid even the chance that they might be...

Eating to Live takes on real-life challenges, and in this case helps me make wholesome changes that are backed by healthy principles.

For today, our homework is to start reading labels on everything that we put on our plate!  Check to see how many items you eat each day that contain trisodium phosphate.

Practicing mindfulness with you, each and every day!

In Grace, Always,

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The China Study Resource List

This 31 Day Journey has been filled with science and success, challenge and hope... We've covered a lot of ground on this Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet quest.

Dr. Campbell's China Study has rocked our view of cancer and our expectations in how we can treat it.  As he shares, "Controlling cancer through nutrition was, and still is, a radical idea."  Very true!

We have shared the successes, chronicled in posts, books and documentaries... hearing stories from real people with real health issues trying a real whole food diet helps makes sense of all the technical explanations.  Chris Wark believes that "Survivors trump science."  And I tend to agree!

Over the past month, we've read a lot of books,blogs and recipes...

Here's a list all in one place to make it easy:

The China Study

The China Study Website: Nutrition Studies

The China Study Cookbook

Stop Feeding Your Cancer

Ben Bella Vegan

Oh She Glows

Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen

Forks Over Knives

Keep studying... Keep pushing... Keep asking the hard questions.

The Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet and the research that Dr. Campbell has done resonates deeply for me. There is so much more to share!

What if we can dramatically reduce our risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes just be changing our diet?  I'm all in!  Join me??  We're just beginning this journey...

And it is all Grace to be here with you.

My Love,

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Forks over Knives

We're winding down our 31 Day Journey...

And today I'm giving out a bit of homework!  But it's all good... this is the kind of homework you don't have to sweat.

Download the following video documentary...

Now watch it!

That's all.  No essays to write.  No questions to answer.

And best of all, no test to study for!  This documentary will wrap up our 31 day journey in the most beautiful way.

The Forks over Knives movie documentary follows the personal journeys of real people as they put Dr. Campbell's groundbreaking research to the test.  This documentary explores the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that we suffer from can be controlled, and in many cases, even reversed by adopting a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet.

If you are at all on the fence about the amazing science behind The China Study, do yourself a favor and study this documentary.  It will answer questions I don't even know how to ask... and it will give you the information you need to make an educated decision on all we've talked about this past month.

Can it be possible that our nutrition and diet choices have such truly profound effects?

Dr. Campbell believes this is truth.  Take a moment or two and be challenged by the Forks over Knives movie.  Then join the conversation! 

In Grace, Always,

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Eureka Moment...

Yesterday we took a look at the China Study and its effect on Pancreatic Cancer.

It was a hard post to share.   And for many, it may have seemed to be heartless and without hope. {Please don't give up... there is Hope ahead}

Enter Dr. Kelly's Eureka Moment...

After losing 4 of his pancreatic cancer patients, including his own brother, Dr. Kelly shared his all out preoccupation with pancreatic cancer...

"I was heartbroken, but his death focused my mind as never before.  I had studied every aspect accessible to me about cancer and I felt sure there was a fundamental difference between cancer of the pancreas and other cancers.  I reread everything I could about the disease, and scoured the Internet daily to make sure I wasn't missing anything.  I went to sleep thinking about pancreatic cancer, and woke every morning still thinking of it.  Then came my eureka moment, a flash of clarity.

As with so many eureka moments a simple answer proposed itself.  My deduction, based on all the published and known scientific facts, was that in cancer of the pancreas it wasn't the dietary animal protein that was most relevant, but rather the structure and function of the pancreas itself.  In the unique case of the pancreas, its own cells - and any cancers therein - have the ability to produce their own animal protein already fully metabolized and ready for use.  What I had overlooked was the fact that more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancers take place in the glandular cells of the pancreas and that the normal function of these cells is to produce the enzymes that metabolize the foods we eat.  The enzyme involved in metabolizing protein - the culprit we are interested in - is called trypsin."

Now, here the explanation gets more detailed, but stick with it, the a-ha moment is coming!

Dr. Kelly continues, "Trypsin is produced by the glandular cells of the pancreas and is stored there in an inactive form (trypsinogen) until there is need for it.  When we eat protein it is fed into the upper part of the small intestine, where it becomes active and thus capable of metabolizing the consumed proteins so they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and utilized by the body.  Trypsin is a very powerful enzyme and the reason it is normally stored in the inactive state is that it might otherwise begin to metabolize and corrupt the pancreatic cells themselves.  In fact, this sometimes does occur, in a non-malignant condition called pancreatitis where self-digestion results in inflammation and destruction of pancreatic cells.

Trypsin does not cause cancer.  But what my eureka moment suggested was that should a number of pancreatic cells begin malignant change - for whatever reason - the trypsin produced by these cells could trigger auto-digestion of the protein structure within the cell, thereby providing an endless supply of best-quality animal protein that would nourish rapidly replicating, rapidly metastasizing cancer cells indefinitely.  Small wonder, then, that it is virtually impossible to cure pancreatic cancer once the surgical option of removing a localized tumour is no longer feasible."

Did you get that??

Pancreatic cancer is basically self-digesting the patients body to provide itself with a daily smorgasbord of the best animal protein around... An animal-protein-free diet, like that of the Whole-Food, Plant-Based kind, won't begin to turn around or even touch this vicious cancer machine.

Pancreatic cancer is a parasite of the worst kind.  And if this cancer wasn't such a nightmare you could almost admire it's stealth-like adaptation to survive.  Except that survival for the cancer means certain death for our loved ones.

This cancer is a nightmare.

But back to Dr. Kelly's Eureka Moment.  He shares what this means to the future of pancreatic cancer treatment,

"I believe we have approached a critical border here.  If my deduction is right, we are broaching a broad range of new possibilities that might be of considerable importance in new treatments for cancers of the pancreas and stomach, and perhaps all cancers.  The role played by trypsin and pepsin (the enzyme in stomach cancer) in feeding the worst cancers has been too long overlooked because nobody has pressed the argument that a devastating association between animal protein and cancer growth exists.  Now that it is becoming clear that such a link does exist, these enzymes must come under renewed scrutiny.  It is my view that oncology experts should lead the field in reviewing the role of the anti-trypsin chemicals that we know exist naturally in the body, but I believe it is quite likely that the pharmaceutical industry will step up the pace, and hugely effective medications will result.

In the end, it may well be that all that's required to finally defeat pancreatic and stomach cancer, indeed all cancers, is an anti-trypsin and anti-pepsin medication available at the bedside."

This is a beginning.  And it is Hope.

So much of this resonates with me.  As we watched mom waste away from this terrible disease, I can now see how the cancer was feeding on her, in a horrible, agonizing way. 

Pancreatic cancer is a nightmare.  And it's hard to talk about these things.  Even harder to think upon them.

But this is where the Eureka Moments happen.  And it is moments like these that will lead us to a cure.

And that is the heartbeat of this journey.  We will walk it out together...

It is all joy to be journeying this road with you,


Monday, November 13, 2017

The China Study and Pancreatic Cancer

This is the hardest post to write in our 31 Day series...

While the China Study is revolutionary in scope, and has profound effect on diseases from hypertension to diabetes to cancers of all kinds.  It has not been able to crack the vicious hold of pancreatic cancer.

On this blog, mom and I decided long ago to only speak truth.  Even when it's hard.
So, this is the hard post... the truth about the China Study and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. John Kelly devotes a whole chapter in his book, Stop Feeding Your Cancer to the problem of the pancreas...

"It has been my fervent hope in this book to tell a personal story that accurately relates the importance of new finding but does not over-simplify the challenge of cancer.  All the case histories that have been presented highlight the close association that exists between the consumption of animal protein and the manner in which the patient's cancer grows.

There can be no exceptions to good scientific theory - or can there be?  The question many will ask is, 'What about pancreatic cancer?'  It's the one that makes most headlines because of its virulent, seemingly unstoppable nature."

Dr. Kelly goes on to share his experience with 4 patients under his care who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and who had agreed to follow the Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet.

His first case was a patient who came to him with possible gallstones.  Tests revealed the malignant lesion in her pancreas.  She underwent surgery, the surgery was deemed successful,  she embarked on the new diet and seemed to be recovering well.

Two months later a new lesion developed.   Her oncologist put her on a stringent course of chemotherapy along with the whole-food, plant-based diet.

Three months later she was dead.

Dr. Kelly shares his complete shock.  For he firmly believed that neither the original cancer recurring, nor a new tumour should have happened while the patient was on the diet.

A small part of his questioning was her full compliance with the diet. Hopefully she had been faithful to the new diet, but he shares, "The awful truth for the patient was that she got no second chance."

Several years later, Dr. Kelly received another pancreatic cancer case.  The 65-year old man was totally on board with the diet and determined to make it work.  What transpired in his case was completely unexpected.  On the night before surgery, he died from a massive hemorrhage at the cancer site.

Dr. Kelly statess that "if nothing else, this incident was a dramatic demonstration of the aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer; there was clearly no one to blame for what happened."

And yet, Dr. Kelly appears to have taken much of the blame, speaking of many sleepless nights, reviewing and reevaluating the study and pancreatic cancer in particular...

"I took comfort from the progress of the other patients in my trial, but the pancreas issue was never far from my thoughts.  I had to wait three years before another pancreatic case presented itself.  In fact, two showed up in quick succession.  There were striking similarities between the cases.  Both were males between 60 and 70 years old, both had extensive metastatic spread by the time of diagnosis, and tragically both patients were dead within a few months, the agony of their final weeks barely controlled by high doses of pain-killing drugs.  The last patient to die was my own brother, who was eight years my junior.

Observing a family member's death in such pain from this most vigorous cancer was a horrific experience.  The anguish seemed worse since he'd known all about Colin Campbell's work and told me he'd been following the animal-protein-free diet.  I do not know how disciplined he was with the diet but, knowing him so well, I suspect he was at least reasonably so.  I was heartbroken, but his death focused my mind as never before... I went to sleep thinking of pancreatic cancer, and woke every morning still thinking of it."

And if this were the end of our study, it would appear hopeless.  Completely, utterly hopeless...

I would not be sharing the China Study with you, my friends, if I did believe with certainty that it is the stuff of great Hope.

Indeed, it was the China Study that actually led Dr. Kelly to his Eureka Moment with pancreatic cancer...  It's a complicated, scientific thesis that is simply brimming with Hope!

Stay tuned as we delve into the science behind the role of trypsin and pepsin in the aggressive growth of pancreatic cancer.  Dr. Kelly is confident that we are reaching a critical crossroads in cancer research, and if his deductions are right, there is incredible Hope for the pancreatic cancer patients and all their loved ones...

More tomorrow!  Can't wait to share this exciting  new development!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Sunday of Thanks

Some People Dream the Dream
Some People Live the Dream
Some People Defend the Dream

God Bless the Defenders...

A Weekend of Thanks for the Veterans Among Us!

In Love and Gratitude,