News from Optimum Choices, LLC
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Optimum Choices will offer mini dog massages at the Holiday Open House of the Good Samaritan Pet Center, from 11 am to 2 pm on Sunday, November 14th at Pets Control Dog Training Center in Aurora, Colorado.
Optimum Choices will offer mini dog massages at the grand opening of the doggie daycare center, Camp Bow Wow, DIA - Aurora, on Saturday, November 20th, 12 to 3 pm.
For more current news, see our news page: www.optimumchoices.com/news.htm.
Doctor Michael Kiriac, PhD, N.D., a Russian scientist who has successfully alleviated diseases in humans and animals will speak about the curative power of bionutrition and bio-algae concentrates. Doctor Kiriac was nominated Fellow of the European Medical Association for his work with Leukemia and the children of Chernobyl. Recipient of six gold medals, a pioneer and world leading authority on micro algae, he will share his experience on prevention and therapeutic uses of bio-algae concentrates for diseases endemic to North America; arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, digestive, hormonal and others. There will be a booklet signing following the presentation: The Magic of Bio-Algae Concentrates: The Michael Kiriac Story by Roland Thomas, ND.
The event tour is as follows. Click on each event for more details and registration information:
Russell Louie of Optimum Choices, LLC will present a special animal lecture at the Seattle and Denver events on:
Look in our December Optimum Connections e-newsletter for our special sale of 10-20% off on BioPreparation/BioSuperfood.
Last month we described the first four characteristics of healthy traditional diets. To determine what constitutes a healthy diet, it makes sense to look at what traditional cultures, untouched by Western civilization, have eaten for thousands of years. Click here to see the first four characteristics that we described previously.
The fifth characteristic of traditional diets is a very high food enzyme content. Enzymes are destroyed by heat—118 degrees wet heat or 150 degrees dry heat. We know from animal studies that if you only give animals cooked foods, so the diet has no enzymes, the pancreas and salivary glands expand. That's because they have to work harder to make enzymes to digest the food. Some of the best sources of enzymes are raw dairy products, especially cultured or fermented, raw meat and fish, raw honey, tropical fruits and foods or drinks that have been lacto fermented (such as raw sauerkraut or Kombuchu). Traditional cultures typically ate some lacto fermented foods with every meal as a condiment, to help with digestion.
The sixth characteristic of traditional diets is that they took great care in preparing their seed foods. By seed foods, we mean any nut, grain or legume (bean). Unlike modern diets, where we eat seeds whole with no preparation or just grind them up (as in flour), traditional cultures would sprout, ferment and soak their seed foods before eating. The reason for this special care is that these foods contain enzyme inhibitors that block digestion as well as phytic acid which blocks mineral absorption. Also, they can contain certain starches and gluten, a protein, that are difficult to digest. The reason for all these anti-nutrients is that they act as a natural system of preservatives, to keep the seed from sprouting until it's in the right environment. A seed will sprout given moisture, warmth, slight acidity and time; then these preservatives get deactivated. So it's much easier for us to digest seeds if we provide them with these four factors for sprouting, instead of eating them full of their natural preservatives. Herbivores are able to digest seed foods because they have stomachs with two to four chambers and bacteria, where they can soak and ferment the seeds. We don't have this type of digestive tract, and traditional cultures intuitively understood this. Therefore, they would soak and ferment seeds before eating them. For instance, many cultures would make some type of bread and then set it aside for 2 weeks to ferment, before eating. Sourdough leavening in bread helps make the bread more digestible.
The seventh characteristic of traditional diets is that while the total fat content of their diets ranged from 30% to 80% (in the case of Eskimos) only 4% of calories came from polyunsaturated fatty acids. Traditional cultures did not eat the isolated vegetable oils that have become common in the last 100 years, such as corn, soy, etc. Today we get 20% or more of our calories from polyunsaturated fatty acids, which then get built into our cells and they don't work as well. The problem with polyunsaturated fats is that they're very fragile so when we remove them from the whole foods they occur in and use them as isolated oils, they break down and become full of free radicals. These free radicals accelerate aging, initiate buildup of plaque in arteries, depress the immune system, cause digestive disorders and damage the reproductive organs and lungs. When they're used in cooking, they break down further and become even more loaded with free radicals. The safest oils for cooking are saturated fatty acids. Saturated fats are actually needed for good health and they comprise at least 50% of cell membranes. They protect the liver from toxins, enhance the immune system, are necessary for proper function of the kidneys and lungs and help us utilize essential fatty acids. The short chain saturated fatty acids (found in butter and coconut oil) are antimicrobial—they help fight against bacteria, yeast and parasites and support the immune system. While proponents of the Paleolithic diet advocate a diet low in fat, traditional cultures are known to have hunted animals selectively to get the ones with the most fat. Animal fat was highly prized by traditional cultures.
The eighth characteristic of traditional diets is that there were equal amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Our diets today are composed of almost all Omega 6. This is caused by our high consumption of vegetable oils as well as how we raise our animals. Typical supermarket eggs, from factory chickens, contain 20 times more Omega 6 than 3. Chickens raised outside on a natural diet contain high levels of Omega 3. Farm raised salmon contains much more Omega 6 whereas wild salmon are high in Omega 3. The Omega 3 oils are high in fish liver oil, fish eggs, egg yolk, brain, organ meats, seaweed, etc., the sacred foods of traditional cultures. These foods contain the Omega 3 fatty acids in the form needed by the body, EPA and DHA. Some foods, such as flax oil, contain precursors to these fatty acids which the body then has to convert to EPA. Not all people can make this conversion, particularly diabetics as well as people with diets too high in sugar, Omega 6 oils or trans fatty acids. In the case of animals, not all dogs can make this conversion and cats don't make it at all, since they are pure carnivores and would not have needed to do this in the wild. So relying on flax oil alone for Omega 3 fatty acids can lead to a deficiency.
The tenth characteristic of traditional diets is that they all made use of bones. They either ground them up and made a paste or more commonly, they made a bone broth. Bone broths are very high in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, etc. in a form that is easy to absorb. Also, they are rich in gelatin, which promotes digestion and helps support liver function. Gelatin has been shown in studies to help many disorders including diabetes, digestive disorders, fatigue, jaundice and allergies.
The eleventh characteristic of traditional diets is that they fed special foods to parent-to-be (including men), pregnant women, nursing women and growing children, so the next generation would grow up healthy. These special foods were the sacred foods of the culture, such as raw butter and cream, fish liver oil, fish eggs, egg yolk, brain, organ meats, seaweed, algae, etc.
Now that we know the characteristics of healthy traditional diets, how can we incorporate this into our own diet to improve or maintain our health? One step is to start incorporating some of the "sacred foods" into your diet, such as cod liver oil, butter, organ meats and algae. Optimum Choices offers a superfood algae supplement that provides extremely concentrated nutrition such as Omega fatty acids and over 4,000 natural occurring enzymes: BioSuperfood for people and BioPreparation for pets. For more details on improving your diet, we recommend the cookbook Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, featured last month as our Book of the Month.
The information in this article is from a seminar on "Healthy Traditional Diets" by Sally Fallon in Denver on September 20, 2003. Sally Fallon is co-founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation. For more information on the Foundation and a wealth of articles on nutrition, go to: http://www.westonaprice.org. The Foundation also publishes a quarterly journal for members that contains excellent articles on nutrition.
by Martin Goldstein, DVM
I bought this book after hearing Dr. Goldstein speak at a pet fair in New York City on the problems caused by over vaccination of pets. Dr. Goldstein is a famous holistic vet who writes a regular column for Animal Wellness magazine. In hearing him talk, I was impressed with his dedication to the health of animals as well as his extensive experience and his knowledge of the scientific studies behind his convictions. He told us if we thought his book was well-written, it was because of the professional writer who helped him with it. And it is indeed, extremely well written and easy to read. It's also very interesting to read since Dr. Goldstein includes a lot of stories of case histories and explanations of how he came to certain realizations. For instance, when his brother's dog was ill, they changed his diet from Top Choice and Gaines Burgers to a home cooked diet and were amazed to see his health improve. This was contrary to what they had been taught in vet school about diet.
One of Dr. Goldstein's strongest convictions is about the damage over vaccination does to our pet's health and in selecting a writer, he happened to find someone whose own pet had been damaged by vaccinations. The writer therefore shared Dr. Goldstein's passion for letting people know about the problems vaccines can cause, rather than being hesitant to address this subject and go against conventional veterinary thought. This was something that Dr. Goldstein wanted to emphasize in his book and a whole chapter is devoted to discussing this. He also provides suggestions on which vaccinations to give when, to minimize the possible damage from them.
Dr. Goldstein feels that over vaccination is an important factor behind the epidemic of cancer that he sees in his practice. He has been in practice since the 1970's and sees far more cancer now and in much younger animals than he used to. He even sees it in puppies and kittens now. He does have several effective holistic methods for treating cancer, which he discusses in a chapter dedicated to cancer treatment. One of these treatments came from a human doctor in the Bahamas who developed a technique called Immuno-Augmentative Therapy (IAT). Dr. Goldstein's brother, Robert Goldstein, also a holistic vet, discovered this doctor, and with his brother Martin, pioneered the use of IAT in veterinary practice. It's interesting to read the story of how they found the treatment and brought it into their veterinary practice.
The book also contains an "alphabet of ailments" covering all sorts of ailments, describing how he treats them and what the layman can safely do vs. when to see a vet. He also explains what he feels is the cause of the problem and how he addresses that cause, rather than just treating the symptoms. For instance, he feels allergies are a symptom of toxic buildup over time that has affected the immune system and epileptic seizures are probably caused by over vaccination. Another chapter details the various holistic treatments that he works with in his practice, including nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies, herbs, flower remedies, acupuncture, ozone therapy, chiropractic and cryosurgery. Especially valuable is a chapter explaining what a healing crisis is and describing several case histories where dogs experienced this and then recovered.
The one chapter I was less than thrilled with was the chapter on diet, which starts out promoting a home cooked diet and then later explains that he is now enthusiastic about raw food. His meals include far too much grain in my opinion—the latest thinking on diet is that most dogs have little need for grains and cats have no need whatsoever. However, his book came out in 1999 before this thinking was prevalent. His diet information also lacks details on balancing the diet properly or enough cat-specific information. For instance, he is a proponent of fasting for health, which is fine for dogs but can be quite dangerous for cats, particularly if they are overweight. So I would suggest that anyone planning to change their dog or cat's diet also consult other recent books on this topic.
The book ends with chapters on the spiritual aspects of living with pets and on dealing with their death, which makes the book well rounded and comprehensive (a holistic book on holistic health). A Source Guide at the back of the book provides many resources for holistic health for animals, including a list of vets.
What I like best about this book is the holistic approach it takes to animal healing—it's not just a compendium of natural modalities but you get a sense of how to approach health issues from a holistic perspective, taking into account what the source of the problem is and attempting to correct that rather than just treating symptoms. So the book lives up to its title in that it truly is about the "nature of animal healing".