24 Comments So Far

  1. We are new to the HM family and are so very touched by your amazing family and the beautiful community surrounding you. I will try to keep it short because much of what I would say has been said. I agree that most dis-ease in the body involves inflammation. My daughter, almost four year old Aurora has Cystic Fibrosis, traditionally known as a life shortening “childhood disease”. The last couple years have been very rough with constant illness, lingering coughs and an endless string of antibiotics. We have tried countless alternative therapies and I truly believe we have found our answer, an answer that can help bring us to a new and different end then the typical Cystic Fibrosis story and that is FOOD AS MEDICINE!!! It has changed her life, our life, and our entire world! Her body can now fight off illness on it’s own and her immune system is growing stronger and stronger. Traditional western medicine does not look here, or
    for the most part I would say even understand the importance of good nutrition, yet it is so powerful in healing. I know your plate is already so full, but start where you can, take small steps if necessary. Maybe start with getting rid of sugar, dairy and fried food. It is not easy, but becomes so much easier as you go along… And yes doing it as a family is the key. Sending much love and hope to all of you!
    PS: we were only able to take this huge step with the help of an amazing pediatrician in NYC, Dr. Larry Palevsky, he took us to the scientific basics both in Eastern and Western medicine of why and how food could make such a difference in the body. His webpage is also a great resource:

    • A few awesome alternatives: (sprouted products are great substitutes for grain products)
      Unique SPROUTED pretzels
      Berlin Natural Bakery SPROUTED bread
      TruRoots: sprouted mung beans, quinoa, lentils – so easy to make, add to broth w/ some veggies – delicious/ nutritious!

      -making soups, mashes, cooked veggies – easier on her body, less work for her to do with digestion so energy can be focused elsewhere
      – yes, totally agree with others, try to do organic/local and stay away from GMO

  2. I am pleased to see all of this focus on diet, and I expect that good will come from making some changes there. I also would recommend acupuncture in addition, another way to
    bring balance and healing to dear Ana. and maybe some for the stressed family as well…. it DOES help. Keeping you all in my prayers….. Bonnie Mitchell, Storey’s grandma.

  3. Coco takes a lot of anti-inflammatory supplements to help with her allergies (which are an over-reactive inflamed response).

    Fish oil, Vitamin E, Tumeric (you can mix it with honey or take it in capsules), kelp are all excellent. High doses of Vitamins C & Quercitin (a natural anti-inflammatory).

    We also have an excellent Hollistic doctor to help with Coco’s allergies whom I VERY highly recommend. His office deals with fibro-myalgia and other immuno-inflmmatory responses.

    He is Darren Lynch at Northampton Wellness Associates.

    Northampton Wellness Associates, LLC.
    395 Pleasant Street Northampton, MA 01060 Phone: 413-584-7787 Fax: 413-584-7778

    Also, Dr. Lauren Vigna is our MD around here and she is terrific. Very plugged into (but judicious about) all different kinds of healing.

    Dr. Lauren Vigna, M.D.
    222 Route 299
    Highland, NY 12528
    Phone: 845.691.DOCS (3627)

    xox from us all, Caroline

  4. My nutritionist has said that we all have cancer cells in out body but that our immune system, if strong enough, selects them and takes care of them….and removes them.
    And yet if our immune system is not strong, or if our body has too many toxins (Hyman addresses this) then there is an overload.
    So the suggestion is to strenghthen her immune system AND begin to incorporate a diei that is nourishing.
    And this has to be a gradual process.
    Lots of pure water……half body ‘s weight in ounces per day.
    I suggest fiinding a good nutritionist who is familiar with Kineseiolology.

    I myself had issues with candida, fibromyalgia, malnutrition, heavy metals, and althought I went to the best doctors (at UPenn) their help was ‘limited’ and did not take into consideration what I was putting in my body. So leave that to the excellent nutritionists out there who can hellp.
    And I was helped. Good accupuncturists can also discern which organs are weak and need to be streanghtend.
    Again good luck …..it is a journey

  5. there are many good cookbooks for eating like The Moosewood and The Enchanted Broccoli
    Forest, by Molly Katzen …..
    eating grains as a breakfast are tasy ……..millet, oatmeal, barley and brown rice can be eaten with milk and a natural sweetner can be added like rice syrup or just cookd fruit or natural unsweetened jams.
    whole grains are complex carbohydrates that supply sustained energy over time, rather than the quick energy of white breads that later on cause a drop in energiy.
    as with anytihiing new there is an adjustment time …
    but eating this way after awhile is so satisfying that she may not crave the sugar stuff like before.
    the sugary stuff will taste TOO sweet as the body adjusts to lower glycemic sugars.
    knowiing that the body is nore nourished in this way of eating is satisfying too.
    I think of my body cells being happier with true nourishment.
    so the whole grains that can be tried are spelt, oat groats, millet, barley, and brown rice.
    Of course get organic.
    And to top it off this is very inexpensive.

    After this fresh fruit and vegetables are best.
    Natural supplements are important too
    Mark Hyman was just on PBS with a new book on lowering blood sugar
    but he has a wealth of knowlege on nutrion and is on the cutting
    edge ….
    his book is well worth the read for general nutritional information.
    good luck and remember that it is a process and
    one needs to gradually move over into better eating
    be loving to yourself and kind
    our body responds to everything!

  6. check out the Ph Miracle Diet by Dr. Robert Young… and Dr. Weil’s info….

    The nutritionist who worked with Dr. Weil and Dr. Mitchell Gaynor for 23 years at the STRANG, WEIL CANCER PREVENTION PROGRAM is near Wdstk… she is CAROL HORNIG 340 1702… and I am sure she would be able to help… her site is http://WWW.DEEPNOURISHMENT.COM


    • yes this book is very good. but his diet is so restricted that it could be very hard to
      follow it. but again it is an awesome book. I have it.

  7. Hey Jim, I agree with everything Ezra said above about anti-inflammatory diet and the paleo eating style (beans and rice are actually pretty inflammatory ;). The hardest part of being on the diet is twofold…1. Getting mentally unassisted to sugar and 2. What to eat for “sweet” and “bready” when you are dying for something … There are tons of recipes for paleo breads, pancakes, puddings etc that involve ingredients like avocado, cocoa powder, agave, coconut flour and almon meal and eggs…and the best part is it is all very high calorie and filling. It does take some getting used to, but it is all psychological. The worst part is trying to eat at parties and in social situation and out, which is not such a problem for Ana right now. She does not have to eat only meat and veggies. And I am happy to bake you paleo bread and teach you to do it too.

    • Anyone who can stop by Hudson Coffee Traders is welcome to pick up some of our paleo baked goods (if you can give me a heads up I can make sure we have some on hand), My daughter (12yrs old) loves them and so maybe Ana would too…banana bread, and choco chip/coconut biscuits and cranberry/coconut biscuits. Love for Ana to try them.


  8. Hi Jim – I’m just catching wind of all of this and I want to send tone of strength and hope your way. I very much admire your positive attitude in what can only be described as very trying times.

    Three years ago, I radically changed my diet because of some health concerns and that diet is largely recognized as an anti-inflammatory diet by nature. The two biggest components removed or drastically reduced was sugar (including processed, natural or ‘healthy sugar’) and grains. I eat primarily tons of fresh and cooked vegetables, and good quality proteins (clean meats, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts.) The diet follows along the lines of the Paleo/Primal thought that the mechanisms of human physiology were developed (and largely remain unchanged) 10s of thousands of years ago in response to what fuels were readily available.

    Just to brag for a moment – eating this way I am fully satiated, my energy levels stay even throughout the day and I leaned out by 25 lbs of weight but retained all of my lean muscle mass.
    Never felt healthier – there’s lot’s of subjective benefits i could describe too, but enough for now.

    Sugars – certainly there are benefits to eating fruit and many believe that human’s propensity for sweets are programmed so that we (ancestrally) would take advantage of opportunistic and seasonal fruit bounties – not consume them (or the sugars they represent) in the quantities they exist in today. Sugar intake causes insulin spikes which when chronically elevated (not hard to do with the standard american diet) leads to chronic inflammation. There is much literature that shows that sugar is more the culprit for cardio vascular disease (a disease of inflammation) than the much reviled saturated fat.

    Grains – Obviously there is much talk of wheat sensitivity and intolerance these days, some think as many as 1/3 of humans have some degree of negative sensitivity to the stuff as evidenced by stool-based levels of specific antibodies (what your body produced to fight unwanted biological riff-raff) for gluten and gliaden – elements found in wheat and other grains. . Wheat sensitivities tend to be hereditary and are found quite often in people of Irish descent, Mr. Dooley.

    There are schools of thought that vilify nearly all grains for problems they cause – because of anti-nutrients in grains that affect the bioavailability of nutrients to your system and perhaps most importantly because of the very quick metabolization of the energy dense carbohydrate load which quickly gets turned into sugar which leads to those inflammatory insulin spikes…

    Granted, all that I’m proposing pretty much nixes all the deliciousness and comfort of standard kid-friendly diets (fried foods, huge bagels with cream cheese, cake, donuts, cookies, beer, ok, not beer) but there are ways to cut out the bad stuff and ramp up the good stuff. Good, grass-fed butter was my savior in switching. (Once you remove most of the added or intrinsic sugar from your diet, your body begins to use fat as a good, long-burning fuel source – without the chronic inflammation caused by sugars, fat is a very bio-friendly substance.) Broccoli dripping with delicious clean butter becomes like a desert…

    I’d be happy to point you toward blogs, scientic journals and research that supports all of this if you are interested.

    Here’s a great TED talk by a woman who effectively put her MS in complete remission soley with dietary thinking as I propose above:


    THIS ALSO IS VERY INTERESTING: There is a growing body of evidence that points toward the efficacy of fasting – intermittently – as a means of battling cancer. In short, cancers which are rapidly dividing masses of cells, need a lot of energy to keep their frenetic pace – starving them slows them down and they are seeming to be less resilient to energy deficiencies than our normally operating body cells. Another benefit to the intermittent fast is that when your body goes into ‘survival’ mode, a process called autophagocytosis ensues in which your body begins to break down cells which are not doing important or efficent work in order to recycle the raw materials in those cells toward greater organism benefit. Research is showing that cancerous cells are often targeted during autophagy.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting-cancer/#axzz27IXosJXh – there are links here to some interesting cancer-related fasting trials.

    There’s a lot to digest here, Jim. Much of it is about as far from the FDA’s recommended food pyramid as you can get – the same guidelines which since being instituted in this country have presided over our current obesity and diabetes epidemic.

    Jim, I think you are on the right path in seeking alternative methods, especially dietary ones, in conjunction with conventional methods to lay effective siege on Ana’s health issues.

  9. I work with Jackie and wanted to share my own experience with an anti-inflammatory diet. My husband and I have been following one for almost two years now. It started when I was having unexplainable gastrointestinal issues and severe hiving for no reason that doctors couldn’t explain. We’ve continued with it because of how much it has changed how we feel. I’ve done a lot of personal research and have a ton of resources for the science behind it as it pertains to other illnesses and symptoms. The biggest thing we found helpful once we committed to it was having fun cookbooks that we could still make yummy foods from. Instead of feeling like we were limiting all the “bad stuff” we were able to approach it as trying new foods and having fun. Would be more than happy to send links to some online resources if you are interested and we are always happy to share our cookbook library for inspiration. It may help Ana to see some pictures of things that she has enjoyed in the past and realize that its still an option just made a different way. Just say the word and they are on their way! Thinking of you guys daily!

  10. Great ideas, Jim, especially to protect yourself and Jackie from a thousand random ideas and directions regarding cures and treatments. It’s smart to be open but also know that you, as her parents, must trust yourself in knowing which path to take ultimately. I think a lot about diet too (as I help prepare menus for 70 children at my center) and also try to improve our diet here at home. It’s overwhelming to try to cut out all the sugar and fillers which we’ve all become so accustomed to as a normal part of our diets. Start simple… try to find one or two proteins that she enjoys (to replace some of the white flour type meals like pasta and pizza). I have luck with EGGS and SOUPS. My boys and I have also started eating more nuts and cheese in-between meals (instead of chips and crackers). Just one or two simple things to start….

  11. Are you familiar with Kris Carr of Woodstock and her book “Crazy Sexy Cancer” ? She has had liver tumors and been living with them and managing them with diet and other means for a few years now.
    A friend of mine has found her writings of tremendous value.
    Also I am a nurse and was in touch with Erica about Ana. If I can be of any assistance, you have my email and I would be more than happy to help in any way I can.

  12. I brought this up to Ana and she was not pleased, but I told her we would ALL be doing this as a family and pointed out that we eat way too much fast food and sugar (collectively). I also said it would be really, really good for daddy and she agreed 🙂

  13. Jim and Jackie,

    I just want to say that you both are two amazing parents. What an incredible team you both are for Ana. It’s obvious why your were chosen to be her parents. !!!! Such a gift… Just to be open to your support group for ideas and suggestions can only help Ana. I may not have the answers you are seeking, but I will certainly continue my prayers and support !!!

  14. I have a friend in woodstock who is an amazing nutritionist. Her name is Dannah Chaifetz. She is super knowledgeable about these things and could give you some great starting guidance. I wrote to her tonight and hopefully I will be able to put you both in touch soon.
    I’m pretty sure you cut out sugar, refined flours, processed food, animal fats. But Dannah can give you excellent recipe suggestions etc for what you CAN eat!
    This is a fantastic idea Jim, we are happy to get on board and will make snacks for our next visit with this in mind!

  15. This is great, Jim. I bet Ana will be motivated to eat differently if it will help her feel better. Thank you for reaching out to everyone for help and information. I don’t have specific suggestions but I am sure many people will.

  16. I can help with recipes and maybe if Chloe and Layla share stuff with her and teach her about some foods they like, it will help her be open.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *