More Support

Here are resources I found helpful. I will add more as I discover them.
I'm sharing what worked for me in the hopes it might help you, too.

How To Help Your Friends and Loved Ones After They Have Received A Difficult Diagnosis:

  1. Do not put anything on their to-do list, including “Let me know what I can do to help?”.
  2. Do not expect typical communication and repartee. In fact, expect nothing and delight if they do reach out to you, even as just part of a group. You mean so well but know they are overwhelmed so just be a do’er and be succinct.
  3. Offer to cook something healthy for them to eat; you can even bring a green smoothie. Veggie soups are so nurturing.  
  4. Send them a box of gorgeous veggies to inspire them to eat more veggies to help fight disease. I love The Chef Garden Boxes. They are the most delicious vegetables I have tasted, and their regenerative farming practices make their vegetables more nutritious than what you can buy in a typical grocery store.  
  5. Share The Bev Strategy idea with them. Would they like to try it? If so, offer to make them a binder (or buy one here) 
  6. Set up a care calendar or meal train for their treatment.  
  7. Errands: Tell them you are on your way to the grocery or drug store. Can you pick up something for them? Do they have items to return to a store?
  8. Offer to drive them somewhere if they need assistance.
  9. Offer to take their kids to the park or a movie.  
  10. Offer to research something for them if you are good at that.  
  11. Buy them pj’s with buttons on the front (easier to get on and off after surgery or treatment.)
  12. Buy them green tea (such good anti-disease properties), then make them a cup.  
  13. Ask if you can help tackle a task in their house. Do they need help changing the sheets? (This can be very hard after surgery!) Laundry? Sweep the porch? Organize the fridge?
  14. Offer to take their carpools.
  15. Offer to walk their dog.
  16. Send them a list of your favorite funny movies and shows – they might need some suggestions for recovery from surgery.

Doctors Who Have Inspired Me and The Diseases They Focus On:

  1. C. Kent Osborne, Baylor College of Medicine (Breast Cancer oncologist and co-director of the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium)
  2. Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, MD Anderson (Leukemia)
  3. David Kennedy, U Penn (ENT): Sinus surgery pioneer 
  4. John Bosso, U Penn (AERD Allergy) 
  5. Karthik Ghosh, Breast Cancer Clinic at Mayo Rochester 
  6. Nadine Tung, Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber, Beth Israel Deaconness (Breast cancer)
  7. Hossein Gharib, Mayo (Thyroid/Endocrinology) 
  8. Eric Edell, Mayo (Pulmonology)
  9. Collin Swenson, Emory (Pulmonology)
  10. William Barber, Piedmont (breast cancer surgery) 
  11. Michael Greger: Nutrition and other strategies for all diseases, updated daily at nutritionfacts.org
  12. UC San Francisco breast cancer department: they are cutting-edge in thinking through which early breast cancer diagnoses need to be vigorously treated, and which do not.
  13. Caldwell Esselstyn MD, Cleveland Clinic: heart disease: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
  14. T Colin Campbell, Ph.D.: cancer and other diseases
  15. Neal Barnard MD, PCRM.org: Diabetes.
  16. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai: Alzheimer’s.  
  17. Kristi Funk – Breast cancer and Breast Manual 
  18. Dr. Earl S. Saltzman, Psychologist, and creator of Structured Communication 
  19. Dr. Kristen Race, Psychologist and creator of the Mindful Life Method 
  20. Joel Kahn, heart disease 
  21. Stage 4 Cancer:Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer
  22. Stage 3c Cancer:Chris, Chris Beat Cancer. 
  23. Cardiologist and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Dr. Monica Aggarwal
  24. Multiple Sclerosis:  Saray Stancic
  25. Lupus and other autoimmune diseasesDr. Brooke Goldner
  26. Addiction and obesity: Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. Bright Line Eating
  27. The late Nathan Pritikin, Ph.D.: Using diet to prevent and reverse heart disease and diabetes.  My family’s story:  My paternal grandfather died of a heart attack, my paternal grandmother had cancer, and my dad’s uncle went from being extremely ill to healthy after changing his life via the Pritikin diet.   After seeing his uncle’s transformation, my then 40-year-old father decided to preemptively change his diet and life. He figured, “Why wait until my genetics give me a heart attack or cancer? Why not make changes now to try to avoid bad health later?” My dad, Earl Saltzman, has carefully followed the Pritikin diet for over forty years and is one of the healthiest 80-somethings around. I am positive his proactive anti-disease eating and exercise have helped him avoid disease.   Our family and his psychology practice have greatly benefited from his preemptive strike!   

Calm Your Anxiety with these proactive coping methods:

This comes from Dr. Kristen Race, child psychologist, and creator of the Mindful Life method:

    • Relaxation Breath: Inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6 to counter the effect of anxiety.
    • Splash cold water on your face.
      • Cold water on your face activates your vagus nerve, slowing down your breathing and heart rate. The chill switches you from your sympathetic (fight or flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. That helps stop your anxiety.
    • Do the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise:
      • Wherever you are, identify five things you see at the moment. Such as “Number 1, Tree. Number 2, Car. Number 3, window. Number 4, computer screen. Number 5, big marker.” Then identify four things you can touch. Then identify three sounds you hear at the moment. Then two things you smell. Then one thing you can taste. When examining things in your direct experience, you are stimulating your pre-frontal cortex and calming that fight or flight response. 
    • BBQ method:
      • The first B stands for Take a deep Breath to calm your nervous system.   
      • Second is Body posture. Switch to a confident body posture of putting your shoulders back and your back straight. This more open posture tricks our brain into thinking, “I’ve got this.” 
      • stands for Question. Instead of saying, “why me?” ask a more empowering question like “How can I grow from this?” “How can I learn from this situation?” This gets us out of stress and survival mode and into a more curious state. Ask, “Is there some good that can come out of this situation?” 

Books, Films, Podcasts, and Communities to Inspire and Motivate You: (consider audible too)

Cancer Related Resources:

  1. Crazy Sexy Cancer: books and film
  2. Chris Beat Cancer: website and book, I followed his anti-disease eating protocol and loved many of his tips.
  3. Cancer: Miracle Morning Film
  4. KrisCarr.com: Great suggestions from an inspiring Stage 4 cancer survivor.
  5. Breastcancer.org: I received so much insight and found so many tips here. 
  6. Sharsheret: A site for Jewish breast and ovarian cancer patients.
  7. Miracle Morning: This book and film are so inspiring. The film also shows the creator of Miracle Morning’s successful cancer fight. 
  8. The Moss Report on cancer by Ralph Moss, Ph.D.  – If you are dealing with cancer. Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., speaks with cancer doctors, researchers, patients, and health professionals worldwide.  
  9. Jim Allison:  Breakthrough – the Nobel Prize winning inventor of immunotherapy

 

Nutrition:

  1. Forks over Knives film (Cancer, heart disease, diabetes) 
  2. Hungry for Change film (nutrition, disease, obesity) 
  3. nutritionfacts.org updated daily and completely science-based. 
  4. How Not To Die book, Nutrition Facts Podcast, Dr. Michael Greger, His site, nutritionfacts.org, provides updates on the latest in nutrition research. You can search for any disease.  
  5. Plantstrong podcast with Rip Esselstyn (interviews with doctors and researchers focusing on many difficult diseases)
  6. Food Revolution Network: Anti-disease eating resource.
  7. Jane Esselstyn

 

Other Diseases:

  1. Reverse Diabetes book by Neal Barnard MD
  2. 30 Day Alzheimers Solution (Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherazai)
  3. The last heart attack – documentary by Dr Sanjay Gupta and CNN about how to prevent and reverse heart disease
  4. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book, by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Cleveland Clinic
  5. Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment Center compiles information about experienced mesothelioma specialists across the U.S. These specialists offer personalized care to each patient.

 

Other Resources:

  1. Wm Hof: breathing technique that calmed my anxiety
  2. BYLR (Build Your Life Resume) and BACC (Big Ass Calendar Club):  Productivity groups that are so positive and connecting.  I loved having this community structure me to keep moving forward with my life goals!  

A Plan for Anti-Disease Eating

You have to eat, right? So why not use that daily experience to try to fight your disease and support your body as it attempts to heal you?


Many doctors do not provide tips for how to eat to help fight disease.  As I have said before, it isn’t their fault; most doctors have little knowledge of nutrition.  Medical schools don’t teach it.


But there are doctors, scientists and other experts out there who have provided evidence that flooding your body with anti-inflammatory foods— colorful vegetables and fruits, legumes, herbs and flavorful spices— while decreasing or eliminating more inflammatory foods (animal products including dairy, plus processed foods) can help your body fight and prevent disease.


Focusing on eating gorgeous vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can produce not only a patient who is surrounded by colorful beauty but also a patient who feels the peace of knowing they supported their bodies getting better.


When I hear doctors say “we don’t want to burden patients by telling them to change their food strategies,” I understand and yet I think, “you have already rocked that patient’s world with this difficult diagnosis.  Choosing to eat anti-disease foods is an empowering complement to whatever medical treatment doctor and patient decide.  Why not encourage this?”


Many patients are not only eating inflammatory foods that help create disease, but they also carry excess weight that can make it harder for their bodies to get better.   Recent scientific studies show a metabolic component to disease.   Eating a whole food, plant-based diet is a great way to help your body get to the healthiest weight for you.


Chris Wark of Chris Beats Cancer calls his anti-disease strategy overdosing on nutrition,” and to me it makes wonderful sense both physically and psychologically.


I followed the Chris Beats Cancer plan and found it simple, calming and nourishing.  I not only felt energetic and happy, but it added a powerful serenity to my life.  I knew I was helping myself with every bite!


Flooding your body with colorful high-nutrient plants helps fight almost any disease.  Also check out Dr. Michael Greger’s nutritionfacts.org to see if there are foods or spices particularly beneficial for fighting your specific disease.


If you need some cooking inspiration for this way of eating,  I adore Jane Esselstyn and Ann Crile Esselstyn’s fun videos.  Don’t miss this video of Dr Caldwell Esselstyn explaining why eating greens is so important for healing, especially If you have heart disease.


Always tell your doctors what you are doing nutrition-wise.  They might need to adjust some medications to take into account the higher nutritional value of your food.


And if you hate the idea of decreasing processed foods and animal products, focus on increasing the good and gorgeous.  Play a game- can you get to eating 40 different plants every week, including herbs and spices? Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle comes in a jar in the spice section and is a great short cut.  Sprinkling it on anything gets you eating 24 herbs and spices in two seconds flat.

I love having Chef’s Garden seasonal veggie boxes delivered to my door.  They prevent me from getting into a rut.  I also like being part of a local CSA (community supported agriculture group) where they automatically give me what was picked that week at local farms.


Give yourself time to love your new way of eating.  Just like someone who is sedentary and starts exercising needs a bit of time to love exercise, someone who never discovered how vegetables can be delicious will need time to fall in love with eating healthy, too.


And make it fun: I love dipping raw veggies into something delish. It seems decadent to me.  Cut up a variety of raw veggies including broccoli florets, broccoli stems, carrots, red cabbage and cauliflower. I do this once a week and put them into a storage container meant for crudités.  Take it out when you have the munchies and dip the veggies into something you love (guacamole, lemony hummus, or even barbecue sauce!)


My favorite thing to dip raw veggies in is my Mom’s homemade thousand island dressing.   To vegan mayo add a little ketchup, a good amount of Worcestershire sauce, relish, garlic powder and onion powder.

Not sure what to do with a new veggie? Roasting with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper caramelizes them and brings out their sweet flavor. Feel free to add other spices before roasting, too.  Smoked paprika, curry, etc.   And you can drizzle the roasted veg with a balsamic vinegar glaze at the end (find these near the vinegars in your grocery store).   The Italians might add raisins and nuts, too. So good.


Try to get green into each meal of the day.  Can you get 6 servings of green into each day?  Green leaves and broccoli are the most healing veggies you can eat. Green tea counts in the morning. You can incorporate spinach in a  smoothie for breakfast, on top of your oatmeal,  or even dessert (freeze peeled, dotted bananas, put them in your blender with a cup of unsweetened soy milk or other plant milk, a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder, and a sandwich sized ziplock bag of frozen spinach. You can also add a pitted date if you need more sweetness.)


Make yourself a fun salad bar. Remember to bring sparkle to your tastebuds through texture: crunchy nuts and seeds, delicious chickpeas (Goya are my favorite canned ones- you can also put them in an oven with spices and make them crunchy).  Throw some red onions in rice vinegar for a zippy pickle. Put the pickled onions over everything!  It is amazing how they bring all savory foods to life.


Drizzle fun vinegars and a sprinkle of salt onto your salad or dip your fork into a less-healthy dressing so you enjoy it but use less.


Hate salads? Take a whole grain tortilla, soften it for ten seconds in the microwave, drizzle it with your favorite mustard and wrap it around a pile of lettuce, herbs, other veggies, spices, and perhaps a sprinkle of canned beans or chickpeas and sunflower seeds. Make that your typical lunch.


If you really don’t like green leafy vegetables, try to find micro-greens and sprinkle them on your sandwich or other foods. Micro-greens give you the same nutrients in fewer forkfuls than bigger leaf veggies. I get mine weekly in my Chef’s Garden boxes.


Garnish everything with herbs.   Buy or grow fresh Italian parsley, dill, cilantro, scallions, and anything else you like.  Chop a mixture of it and put the chopped herbs in a Tupperware in your fridge.  Every time you serve yourself anything savory, sprinkle this on top to make it more inviting and healthy.  Plus my beloved grandmother would be proud of you for making your food pretty.


Stuff sandwich-size ziplock bags with already-washed baby spinach and freeze them.  Then crush the bag of frozen spinach with your fingers: sprinkle the crushed spinach onto anything warm you are eating (soups, rice, etc). It will look gorgeous and provide more nutritional bang.


Veggie soups rule!  I adore everything about veggie soups – making them, pureeing them, drizzling them with a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and fresh herbs and/or toasted sliced almonds just before serving.  I save the scraps from onions, garlic, and veggie ends and peels in a ziplock in my freezer to make no-cost, no-effort homemade veggie stock.  When I want to make soup, I just dump the frozen scraps into a pot, cover it with water, and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a bay leaf. I bring it to a boil, simmer it, and then strain the stock into whatever soup I am cooking. Sundays are a great day to make a quick soup for the week.


Anti-Alzheimers gurus recommend eating beans 3x a day to help prevent Alzheimers.   Unsweetened soy milk (made out of soy beans) in your cereal or coffee counts!


Rancho Gordo beans can turn a bean hater into a bean enjoyer. So many delicious choices.  And don’t worry about gas!  Most people get much more gas from eating dairy than they do from beans.  I make a pot of beans once a week. I sauté an onion in a bit of olive oil. Then I add the rinsed beans (I never presoak) with some dried oregano, a bay leaf, and a whole garlic clove or two.  I cover it with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil for about 15 min.  As Rancho Gordo’s Steve Gordo says, you got to show the beans who is boss. Then turn down the heat, cover and simmer till the beans are done. Check every so often to stir and add water if necessary.   Add salt towards the end.  You can also use a slow cooker or an instant pot. Rancho Gordo beans are so fresh they usually don’t take long. Leftover beans are easily put in salads and wraps, pureed with an immersion blender into a silky protein filled soup, or zapped into a bean dip for dipping veggies.


If you are a tuna lover, try the chickpea “tuna” recipe my dad and I are obsessed with.  For a fast oil-free hummus, dump a can of chickpeas with some of their liquid into a food processor.  Add lemon juice, salt, tahini, and cumin.   I like to add herbs too.


Lentils are so gorgeous.  Black lentils feel like you are eating caviar.  Green lentils make great salads. Red ones make killer Indian comfort food (dals) that are so easy and delish. Indian grocery stores have exotic lentil choices that are inexpensive and fabulous. Serve any lentils or beans with brown rice or baked sweet potatoes or a fun grain like millet.


Baked sweet potatoes make an amazing snack.  Choose small ones, scrub them and poke with a fork and bake at 400 for about an hour.  You can eat them like an apple, skin and all.  My friend does this when she is getting ready for work and wraps them in foil so she can enjoy them at the office.


Tofu is so easy– it just absorbs the taste of anything you want to throw on it.   Here’s my favorite recipe.  At a Chinese restaurant?  Have them turn your favorite meat dish into one with tofu, ideally steamed.  Ask them to add broccoli too.


Love oatmeal or whole grain cereal in the morning?  Sprinkle it with blueberries, a tablespoon of ground flax seed, a handful of walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric (with a twist of black pepper which you won’t taste but will help your body absorb the turmeric).   Banana lovers can add banana slices too.  Add unsweetened soy milk and enjoy.  I don’t bother cooking my oatmeal; I just enjoy it raw.  Sounds strange but try it!


I love coffee and have one large delicious cup of coffee with unsweetened soy milk each morning but then make myself switch to: anti-disease green tea. Since I don’t adore the taste of green tea alone I will often add a tea bag of a different tea to the green tea.   There are so many choices, and it is so soothing to drink tea.   A lovely ritual for yourself.


Onion and garlic help fight disease, so I add more than the recipe calls for.  I like the taste of chopped garlic much more than garlic smushed in a garlic press. You can also zap a lot of it in a food processor and freeze it into tiny ice cube trays. Ditto with ginger.


Drink a lot of water, each day!  Try to drink half your weight in ounces. Put berries and a sprig of mint or a slice of orange or cucumber into your water to beckon you to it.


Nurture the creative side of you through food.   And enjoy your food adventure, knowing you are helping yourself both physically and emotionally.


Esselstyn YouTube videos:


Acknowledgments:

Thank you to all the doctors, patients, and friends who helped me with the information on this website.   My goal was for this site to be a public service that could help as many people as possible, so their professional and personal perspectives are valuable.    

Here is a list of some of those whose input, advice, experience, and or edits are reflected on the website: 

  • Dr. C. Kent Osborne (Baylor College of Medicine) 
  • Dr Paul Schienberg (Emory St. Josephs)
  • Dr. Eric Edell and Dr. Hossein Gharib (Mayo Clinic Rochester)
  • Dr. David Kennedy and Dr. John Bosso (U Penn)
  • Dr. Colin Swenson (Emory)
  • Dr. Erica Peters (Piedmont)
  • Dr. Nadine Tung, (Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
  • Dr Rafael Harpaz and Dr. Elizabeth Herman (CDC)
  • Dr. Jason Reingold, Cardiologist
  • Dr. Hagop Kantarjian  MD (MD Anderson) and Mary Alma Welch PAC  (MD Anderson)
  • Farmer Bob Jones, The Chef’s Garden 
  • Dr. Earl Saltzman, Resanne Saltzman (parents extraordinaire) 
  • Kristine Mills /InkWell Marketing Solutions  (website builder extraordinaire) 
  • Wendy Woodward Guarisco (The Guarisco Group PR guru and former CNN colleague)
  • Marc Lewyn, Alexandra Lewyn, Rachel Lewyn, Sarah Lewyn and Rebecca Lewyn
  • Esther Lewyn
  • Clare Whiteman 
  • Frank Saltzman and David Saltzman
  • The Pink 38 Group of cancer survivors 
  • Denise Toth
  • Elizabeth Glenn Higgins
  • Jim Comerford
  • Hallie Segal, RN
  • Betty Minsk, z”l
  • Vivian Zizholtz, z”l
  • Marcia Tschiuda, z”l
  • Yuri Jeon
  • Eileen Esworthy
  • Liraz Beldie
  • Yael Katz
  • Francine Lowe
  • Shani Unterhalter Romick
  • Pam and George Glinsky
  • Dawn and Michael Siegel
  • Jodi and Josh Wittenberg
  • Rebecca Irvy
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OUR PROCESS

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Over set was for him own gathering for form forth Blessed also shall and, moved together it.

DEMO PAGE

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Over set was for him own gathering for form forth Blessed also shall and, moved together it earth be.

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DEDICATED SUPPORT

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Over set was for him own gathering for form forth Blessed also shall and, moved together it.

RESPONSIVE LAYOUT

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Over set was for him own gathering for form forth Blessed also shall and, moved together it earth be.

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DEMO CONTENT

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. Over set was for him own gathering for form forth Blessed also shall and, moved together it.