Monthly Archives: May 2016

A Healthy Lifestyle Reduces Cancer Risks.

Redwood by Kim

Photo by Kim Taylor

Displaying Image-1.jpgThe health news this past week has been about decreasing the risk of most cancers through a healthy lifestyle. Several studies have been done in this area. One study concerns reducing the risk for breast cancer among white women no matter what their genetic markers are showing. Another study was done to show lifestyle changes could drastically reduce the risk of most cancers.

The “healthy lifestyle” these studies are talking about is basically what we have been discussing on our site since the beginning. We are way ahead of them ūüôā

  • Moderate to no alcohol.
  • No smoking.¬†Never have or have quit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight (BMI between 18.5 & 27.5)¬†This is not a bad range when you look at the BMI chart.
  • Have a weekly exercise program¬†of at least 1 1/2 hours of moderate intensity. That would be 30 minutes a day/5 days a week.¬†
  • In addition;¬†women who decreased their breast cancer risk in the study did not use hormone replacement therapy after menopause.

These studies were done with Caucasians only. The results are unknown for the ethnic population. I would think that no matter what ethnic group you belong to, the above list would cut the risk of most cancers. The researchers just don’t know by how much.

New method for predicting breast cancer risk suggests about 30% of cases could be prevented: May 31, 2016:¬†“Ask almost any health-conscious woman who‚Äôs mustered under a giant pink ribbon, and she‚Äôll tell you what an American woman‚Äôs chances are of getting¬†breast cancer in her lifetime: one-in-eight.

But that’s a national average. And as the relative influence of genes, behavior and environmental factors on cancer risk come into clearer focus, women increasingly have begun to understand that they’re not all average.

New research is helping to refine those numbers, and to clarify what it would take for a woman to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. It concludes that, at some point in her life span, a 30-year-old white woman in the United States has a probability of developing breast cancer that lies somewhere between 4.4% and 23.5%.

Published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology, the study¬†concludes that as many as 29% of breast cancer diagnoses among such women could be prevented or delayed if all women maintained a healthy body weight, did not use menopausal hormone therapy, drank little¬†and did not smoke.”

Here is the actual study: Breast Cancer Risk From Modifiable and Nonmodifiable Risk Factors Among White Women in the United States 

This article is about cutting the risk of most cancers, May 19, 2016: Healthy Lifestyle May Prevent Up to Half of Deaths From Most Common Form of Cancer, Study Finds, Adopting a healthy lifestyle could prevent a huge number of cancer cases and possibly save tens of thousands of lives in the U.S, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School looked at 89,571 Caucasian women and 46,399 Caucasian men enrolled in two ongoing cohorts to see how much a healthy lifestyle could reduce cancer risk.”¬†¬†The percentages are significant. Read the article for the types of cancer & the decreased risk.

Here is the link to the actual study: Preventable Incidence and Mortality of Carcinoma Associated With Lifestyle Factors Among White Adults in the United States 

Good article regarding exercise, showing that even minimal exercise will lower the risk of cancer. Walking to your mailbox or to the end of your driveway every day can make a difference:¬†Weekly walks and even minimal exercise have been shown to prevent over 10 types of cancer¬†,¬†Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity With Risk of 26 Types of Cancer in 1.44 Million Adults¬†¬†You don’t need a¬†gym, just a pair of good¬†walking shoes & determination ūüôā Go smell those roses!

Speaking of exercise, here is the link to EWG’s 2016 Guide to Sunscreens. The site gives safety ratings. You can also look up your favorite sunscreen to see how safe it is.¬†

You may have noticed that the type of diet, & environmental factors were not a part of either studies. I have cited many studies that show the Mediterranean, DASH & the MIND diet improve the immune system & decrease the risk of most cancers. The researchers did note that environmental factors should be studied to see what impact they have on cancer. Environmental factors would include air pollution, water pollution, pesticides, genetically modified foods & more. This is definitely an area that needs to be studied in regards to all chronic diseases, not just cancer.

This article is from 2011 yet still relevant.¬†A Vegan Diet (Hugely) Helpful Against Cancer¬†¬†“A new study just out of Loma Linda University funded by the National Cancer Institute reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan women, for example, had 34 percent lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer. And this was compared to a group of healthy omnivores who ate substantially less meat than the general population (two servings a week or more), as well as after controlling for non-dietary factors such as smoking, alcohol, and a family history of cancer.¬†Link for the PubMed study: ¬†Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population.¬†

As I have said before, if your not interested in becoming a vegetarian or a vegan, small changes in your present diet can also make a difference. Becoming more plant based can be done slowly by increasing those fruits & vegetables on your plate! Look at previous blogs discussing this. 

What all these studies are saying, is that in order to reduce the risk of most cancers, this is what constitutes a “Healthy Lifestyle.”

  • No alcohol.
  • No smoking.
  • Exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Plant based diet.
  • No HRT after menopause.

This list should be your goal, but, don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to change overnight. That will just cause added stress. Work on cutting back on alcohol & quitting smoking first. Take it in steps. A course in Mindfulness would help with that. Adding in exercise will also help with both of those goals by relieving the stress involved with change. Cleaning up your diet can be done last. Baby steps!

Next week we are going to revisit what a healthy vegan diet looks like. I will include recipes to get you started & a list of resources….Mary ūüôā

New & improved food labels are coming!

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has announced that they are making over the food labels for most packaged foods. The current food label, to the left below, was introduced 20 years ago. The label has been changed only a few times since then. For example, trans fats, was added in 2006. The new label will be out on packaged foods, those regulated by the FDA, by 2018.

Here are the old vs. the new label format from the FDA

Side-by-Side Comparison: Chart with a side-by-side comparison of the original nutrition facts label on the left and the new nutrition facts label on the right.

Let’s look at the key changes from the FDA press release:¬†“FDA modernizes Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods”¬†¬†My notes are in red.

Key Updates

The new Nutrition Facts label will include the following.

  • An updated design to highlight ‚Äúcalories‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúservings,‚ÄĚ two important elements in making informed food choices.¬†This is an important part of the label. It tells you how many servings are in the package & how many calories there are per serving. Having it bold or highlighted is a very good idea.
  • Requirements for serving sizes that more closely reflect the amounts of food that people currently eat. What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the last serving size requirements were published in 1993. By law, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, requires that serving sizes be based on what people actually eat.¬†I am in total disagreement with this change. Note the key words here: serving sizes are based on what people actually eat. It will not be based on ideal portions. Our plates are larger & our portions are larger than in 1993.¬†The amounts people actually eat, does not necessarily reflect a “healthy choice”. Years ago I visited the Ben & Jerry’s original location in Vermont. On the tour, the guide pointed out that a 3.6 ounce carton of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was considered a single serving in Japan & they were sold that way there. In the U.S. the smallest carton sold as a single serving was a pint (2 cups). The guide said that the 3.6 ounce didn’t sell here ūüôā ¬†I see on line that the 3.6 ounce carton is now sold in a “party pack” of 12. I have never seen them in a grocery store. Says a lot about how we eat.
  • Declaration of grams and a percent daily value (%DV) for ‚Äúadded sugars‚ÄĚ to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product. It is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugars, and this is consistent with the scientific evidence supporting the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.¬†This needs to be added. When you are consuming a yogurt with fruit, you will be eating lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) & sometimes an added sugar. This will allow you to see what & how much added sugars are in the packaged food. ¬†¬†
  • ‚ÄúDual column‚ÄĚ labels to indicate both ‚Äúper serving‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúper package‚ÄĚ calorie and nutrition information for certain multi-serving food products that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings. Examples include a pint of ice cream and a 3-ounce bag of chips. With dual-column labels available, people will be able to easily understand how many calories and nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink the entire package/unit at one time.¬†

This is a great idea. This part can be used as an educational tool. You can instantly see the difference between eating the entire package or one serving. If the FDA would make this change without changing the serving size, it would be taking a major step towards people eating less.

For packages that are between one and two servings, such as a 20 ounce soda, the calories and other nutrients will be required to be labeled as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting. 

The FDA thinks that having the total 12 & 20 ounce Coke labeled as one serving will be easier for a person to know how many calories they are consuming. I think that the Serving Size should remain the 8 ounces in this case & be bigger, bolder & highlighted.¬†The FDA is not telling people that 20 ounces is a serving size for a coke; it just appears that they are ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

  • Updated daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D, consistent with Institute of Medicine recommendations and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Daily values are reference amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed and are used to calculate the %DV that manufacturers include on the label.¬†This is something that needed to be updated. Thinking has changed stemming from good scientific research.
  • Declaration of Vitamin D and potassium that will include the actual gram amount, in addition to the %DV. These are nutrients that some people are not getting enough of, which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease. The %DV for calcium and iron will continue to be required, along with the actual gram amount. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required because deficiencies of these vitamins are rare, but these nutrients can be included on a voluntary basis.¬†A & C should continue to be on the label in my¬†opinion.¬†
  • ‚ÄúCalories from Fat‚ÄĚ will be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. ‚ÄúTotal Fat,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúSaturated Fat,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúTrans Fat‚ÄĚ will continue to be required.¬†Good idea. Just as in added sugar, calories from fat, does not give the consumer enough information. Breaking it down into types of fat allows for informed buying.¬†
  • An abbreviated footnote to better explain the %DV.¬†Always needed ūüôā

The FDA is also making minor changes to the Supplement Facts label found on dietary supplements to make it consistent with the Nutrition Facts label. Being consistent will help the consumer interpret the labels.

In this U.S.News article:¬†Makeover Coming for Food Nutrition Labels,¬†“Calculations for serving sizes will also be revised. The idea behind listing a whole package of food, or a whole drink, as one serving size isn’t that people should eat more; it’s that they should understand how many calories are in what they are actually eating. The FDA says that by law, serving sizes must be based on actual consumption and not ideal consumption.¬†I discussed this with others & the reaction was split. Some feel that if they see the total calorie count for the 20 ounce coke they will not drink the entire bottle. The other half thinks that the FDA is condoning the “super-sized” servings. What do you think?

In the Reuters article: Major change in U.S. food labels is likely to help healthiest the most the authors, LISA BAERTLEIN AND CHRIS PRENTICE, wrote: The biggest overhaul of U.S. food nutrition labels in more than two decades is likely to help improve the diets of the most health-conscious consumers, but others may need more convincing.

Public health advocates welcomed the new rules but said some of the groups most at risk for obesity and diet-related illness may not change habits without other measures to discourage sugar consumption, such as taxes on sugar and food advertising warning labels.”¬†

They also quoted Professor Barry Popkin:¬†“It’s a useful tool for those who are really educated and concerned, and has zero effect on the population most at need,” said Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.¬†Popkin and Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, said labels would be more effective when combined with other measures.¬†I agree.

The new label is a major step towards eliminating obesity through informed decisions by the consumer. Yet, I must agree with this article, it will help only the educated & those concerned about their nutritional choices.

Packaged foods should be avoided for the most part anyway. They are processed & have too many unhealthy ingredients. A plant based diet is where a healthy immune system comes from.  

On another topic, the National Institute of Health just released the results of an important study:¬†Increased physical activity associated with lower risk of 13 types of cancer¬†¬†“A new study of the relationship between physical activity and cancer has shown that greater levels of leisure-time physical activity were associated with a lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. The risk of developing seven cancer types was 20 percent (or more) lower among the most active participants (90th percentile of activity) as compared with the least active participants (10th percentile of activity). These findings, from researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society, confirm and extend the evidence for a benefit of physical activity on cancer risk and support its role as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts. The study, by Steven C. Moore, Ph.D., NCI, and colleagues, appeared May 16, 2016, in JAMA Internal Medicine.”¬†Check out SDCRI’s Resource Page¬†for information regarding free exercise programs for cancer patients in San Diego County. If you live elsewhere call your local Yoga centers & see if they have free programs for cancer patients.

Until next week…..Mary

In the News!



Lots of interesting articles in the news this week. The FDA has decided to redefine “healthy” foods ūüôā The UK is looking at yogurt & obesity, antibiotics in animal feed is back in the news, & a warning regarding kids & gluten free products. There is also a new study on foods that lower the risk of breast cancer. ¬†I have some fun stuff too! Here we go!

What does the term, “healthy food choices”, mean to you? Maybe a granola bar instead of a Snickers, or iced green tea instead of a coke. To the FDA, a “healthy” food label means low fat. Because of new research that shows that some fats, like nuts, are healthy, the FDA must now reconsider what products can use the term “healthy”.

Why The FDA Is Re-Evaluating The Nutty Definition Of ‘Healthy’ Food: ¬†“Currently, if a food company wants to put a “healthy” claim on its label, regulations stipulate that it must be very low in fat. The specific rules are complex, but, for instance, a snack food can contain no more than 3 grams of fat for a regular-size serving.¬†This means that many snacks that include nuts don’t qualify as healthy.

The FDA says that in light of evolving nutrition research, it is now planning to solicit public and expert comment to come up with a new definition that will help consumers make informed choices.”¬†The makers of Kind brand bars were the instigators in this change. You, as a consumer, do have a say in what the FDA regulates. Check out the article.

In another article:¬†FDA to Re-examine What Makes a Food ‘Healthy’¬†The nutritional landscape and knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet has changed considerably since 1994, when the FDA first officially used the term “healthy.” Back then, health advocates were taking aim at fats — not sugar or gluten — which are among today’s targets.¬†By those old standards, sugary cereals like raisin bran might be considered a healthier option than an avocado, which contains “good” monounsaturated fat.”¬†Time to make these changes!


The next news article, from BBC Health News, intrigued me because of the title:¬†What yoghurt tells us about the obesity fight¬†¬†Even though this article is from the UK, it is the same story in the USA.¬†“It’s one of the most common items in our shopping basket. We spend more on it than we do on crisps and bacon.¬†In its normal state – natural full-fat – it’s pretty good for you. It can boost your immune system, is good for your bones and is great at satisfying hunger.

The problem is that a great deal of the yoghurt we buy is not the natural stuff. Instead we seem to like the processed products, which are made by partly substituting yoghurt and adding a combination of other ingredients such as gelatine, sugar and flavourings. It tends to be cheaper to produce per calorie, but nowhere near as good for you.”¬†To combat this problem, the UK, has voted for a “sugary drink tax” to come into effect in 2018. They are now looking at advertising & how that can be controlled. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Yogurt in the USA isn’t always yogurt either. Look at the ingredient list! Which of these examples would you choose?

Example A.

Example B.

I am hoping that you said B ūüôā Don’t just assume something is pure & natural until you read that ingredient list….have I said that enough?

I received our local Safeway flyer today. They have Mountain High Tub Yoghurt, 32¬†ounces, on sale: 2 for $5.00. This is a great price! It isn’t organic but¬†look at the ingredient list:¬†Cultured Pasteurized Lowfat Milk, Pectin, Contains Live, Active & Probiotic Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, B. Bifidus, and L. Casei).¬†So we can’t blame price for buying yogurt with added sugars & ingredients we can’t pronounce.¬†


Antibiotics In Animal Feed May Be Increasing Drug-Resistant Bacteria Globally¬†This article was of interest because it has become a global problem.¬†“In the fight against the rise of antibiotic resistance, we need to understand that the use of one antibiotic or, in some cases, antibacterial disinfectants may increase the abundance of multidrug resistant bacteria,” said James Tiedje of MSU, one of the researchers involved in the new study. “Tracking the source of antibiotic resistance is quite complicated because antibiotic use, which increases the occurrence of resistance, is widespread, and antibiotic resistance can spread between bacteria.¬†This isn’t just a local problem, either. This is a global problem. As the researchers point out, “multidrug resistance is just a plane ride away.”¬†What can we do about this? Eat organic, grass fed, meats. If it is certified organic the animal did not have antibiotics or growth hormones given to them. It is also increasingly easier to find antibiotic & growth hormone free meats in your local grocery stores. If you don’t see it, ask for it. The more consumers ask the more likely the store will carry it.¬†

Back to my Safeway flyer: Open Nature Grass Fed 85% lean ground beef, 16¬†ounces¬†for $4.99. I googled this brand & it said that this product is antibiotic &¬†growth hormone free. “Natural meat options include grass fed angus beef, chicken, lamb and pork: all vegetarian fed with no antibiotics or added hormones”¬†Store brand with affordable prices.¬†

It pays to investigate what your local grocery store is offering with their store brands. Safeway has an organic brand as well & it too is affordable. 

***Another reminder is that washing your hands with soap & water can be better than hand sanitizers. Show me the science: When & How to use Hand Sanitizer. A wonderful resource from the CDC, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.


Because so many of you are on a gluten free diet, I decided to include this article. Even if you do not have children in your home, it is a good article to read.¬†¬†4 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Not Be Gluten Free:¬†An expert in celiac disease warns against the latest health trend.¬†Gluten-free products are increasingly popular, but they are not suitable for everyone. While a diet without gluten may work for adults, there are only a few reasons for children to avoid it, and many reasons not to. In a recent¬†commentary published in the Journal of Pediatrics, I outline considerations for pediatricians who may be advising parents regarding the gluten-free diet. Before eliminating all the gluten from your kids‚Äô meals, here‚Äôs what you should know:¬†Click on the link to read the rest of the article. I still find it interesting that many of our NUTs who have traveled to Europe are able to eat bread without any problems! The EU will not import our wheat because it is genetically modified. Can this be the problem? I don’t know but it begs for more research.


Foods that lower breast cancer risk? New study offers clues Teenage girls who consume large amounts of fruit may lower their future risk for breast cancer, a new study suggests. Conversely, women who drink more alcohol over time might increase their breast cancer risk, although they could also lower their chances of heart disease, a second report found.

In the fruit study, consumption of apples, bananas and grapes during adolescence was strongly associated with a drop in breast cancer risk. Roughly three daily servings of such fruits was linked to a 25 percent drop in risk by middle age, compared with consuming just a half-serving per day.¬†Women who ate oranges and/or kale as young adults also seemed to gain some¬†protection ¬†from breast cancer, the investigators noted. But drinking fruit juice did not appear to confer any benefit.”¬†The study ends by saying that more research is needed before a direct link can be established. Even so, more fruits & vegetables are a good idea for young people to build a stronger immune system. I hope you noticed that the study stated that drinking fruit juices did not have a benefit. Taking out the fiber & concentrating the fruit sugar, fructose, has never been a “healthy choice”. In the same article:¬†“We’ve known for a long time that alcohol consumption is related to breast cancer,” said Sandon. “So this is not surprising, even if it is a conundrum in terms of heart health. But if you have risk factors for breast cancer in your family, perhaps drinking red wine is not a good choice,” Sandon added.¬†“And there are better things you can do for heart health than drink,” she said. Her suggestions: “Exercise, eat whole grains and stay at a healthy weight.”¬†This suggestion also applies to lowering the risk of all cancers & keeping your immune system healthy.


May 9th was “Eat What You Want Day”….note that it was for one day only ūüôĀ ¬†My favorite newsletter from Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN had a “Superswap” Craving Chart¬†with awesome recipes. Click on the link to see the chart & the recipes. My favorites are:

Let me know if you tried any of the recipes. 

The next fun link is from our NUT Elf, Suzi. From Blogs to Books: 11 Popular Cookbooks Written by Bloggers. My favorite is still Thug Kitchen; you have to have a sense of humor & an open mind about swearing to enjoy this one!


***Warning for dog owners:¬†FDA warns sweetener used in chewing gum can be deadly to dogs:¬†“The FDA is ramping up warnings about a common sweetener that can be toxic to dogs.¬†Xylitol, a type of sweetener found in many sugar-free gums and other products, can have devastating consequences if ingested by a dog, the agency said in a statement issued Thursday”¬†This is disturbing news. Xylitol is in a lot of people foods besides gum.¬†¬†Please make sure you read the ingredient list before giving your pets anything!

See you all here next week!……Mary


Cannabiodiol: CBD Oil

With new laws in many states legalizing medical marijuana, people are confusing CBD oil from industrial hemp with CBD oil from marijuana. CBD oil from industrial hemp is legal to sell in most states including California. You do not need a physicians recommendation or a medical marijuana card to purchase it. I will explain the difference between the two, the research behind CBD oil, what it is used for, & what you need to know to purchase it safely.

From a previous article I wrote about Cannabis Sativa under Topics:

Here is a brief history of cannabis from¬†WebMD¬†:¬†‚Äú¬†In 1937, the U.S. Treasury began taxing Cannabis under the Marijuana Tax Act at one dollar per ounce for medicinal use and one hundred dollars per ounce for recreational use. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed this regulation of Cannabis and did not want studies of its potential medicinal benefits to be limited. In 1942, Cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of continuing concerns about its safety. In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which included Cannabis with narcotic drugs for the first time.¬†Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, mescaline, methaqualone, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).‚ÄĚ ¬†The Boggs Act included industrial hemp, because it is also Cannabis Sativa, making it illegal to grow.¬†In¬†July of this year, the DEA may remove all Cannabis from Schedule 1. Not only will this decriminalize its use but it will open up research studies.¬†

Definitions you should know:

THC: Tetrahydrocannabidinol: the active ingredient in cannabis, giving it its narcotic and psychoactive effects. Collins EnglishDictionary 

CBD:¬†Cannabidiol is a compound in cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel ‚Äústoned‚ÄĚ and can actually counter the psychoactive effects of THC. ¬†Project CBD website¬†

Medical Marijuana: Cannabis Sativa that has been hybridized into many new plants to increase the psychotropic effects. It has a THC content of between 5-20%. New strains can have as much as 25-30% THC.

Industrial hemp: Cannabis Sativa that historically was hybridized to maximize the fiber, seed and oil content. It has a THC content of between 0.05 & 1%. “CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of hemp. Its properties are more beneficial for treatment and prevention of illnesses and ailments. All of these benefits come with no psychoactive response in the system.” from HoneyColony.

Industrial ¬†Hemp is illegal to grow in the United States because it is lumped in with Cannabis Sativa, on Schedule 1; even though it is low in THC. It is legal to import hemp products into the United States because it is low in THC ūüôā More than 30 countries worldwide grow industrial hemp, including Canada. Marijuana is¬†illegal¬†in most of these countries because the¬†two plants have been¬†separated¬†by their THC content as well as by the¬†genetic¬†differences between the plants.

Interesting to note: Excerpt from the Canna Law Blog…¬†The Precarious Legal Status of CBD: ¬†Though the DEA has no enforcement power over hemp products, it does control hemp cultivation. In order to grow hemp in the U.S., you have to have a permit from the DEA which the DEA typically never issues. Therefore, cultivating hemp without a permit to do so from the DEA remains a federal crime. The only exception is the 2014 federal Farm Bill which allows state departments of agriculture, universities, and colleges to cultivate hemp without a permit from the DEA for educational and research purposes. Because of the prohibition on hemp cultivation without a DEA permit, the hemp products we see in the U.S. typically come from hemp imported from overseas. This means that¬†companies and individuals may freely sell CBD derived from processed hemp (not from marijuana), imported from outside the U.S.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has inserted itself into the CBD market. Generally, when a company makes a medical claim about a product, that product is classified as a drug. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), new drugs are not allowed to enter the market without first being tested by the FDA, unless they meet the definition of a dietary supplement (which doesn’t require such testing). When these types of claims are made without the requisite testing, the FDA takes action under the FDCA.

The FDA does not consider CBD to be a dietary supplement; it considers CBD to be a new drug. As a result, earlier this year, the FDA issued warning letters to companies making medical claims about their CBD products. Ultimately, among other identified violations of the FDCA, the FDA accused these companies of making unfounded medical and therapeutic claims about their CBD products by, for instance, stating that CBD is effective for treating certain kinds of cancer. The FDA gave these companies 15 days to demonstrate how they were curing violations of the FDCA or face legal action by the FDA.

Anyone undertaking the sale of hemp-derived CBD should make very clear to regulators and to its customers that its products come from imported hemp and not from marijuana. Moreover, anyone selling or making hemp-derived CBD should take great care to avoid making any medical claims about those products or else they risk facing the consequences under the FDCA.”¬†It is still legal to sell in California & other states. The health claims have been toned down.¬†


The NIH shared a speech from¬†June 24, 2015¬†presented by Nora D. Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse to the¬†Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control:¬†The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol¬†“Rigorous clinical studies are still needed to evaluate the clinical potential of CBD for specific conditions.i However, pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”¬†Very good article about CBD & its potential as well as its biology. I recommend that you read the entire article.

10 Ways CBD Can Change Lives¬†“According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:


This article is from the Honey Colony. Click on the link to see more articles about research & uses of CBD oil. This is an interesting website with excellent information. 

¬†A New Era in Medical Marijuana Research?¬† Research on the medical uses of cannabis is difficult in the US due to its being on schedule 1. Special permission is needed & can take so long that the “mice die” before permission is granted. As I stated in the beginning, this may change in July when cannabis is taken off schedule 1.¬†“For neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, the problem with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration‚Äôs classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug can be summed up in two words: dead mice.

Cao, a researcher at the University of South Florida‚Äôs Byrd Alzheimer‚Äôs Institute, uses transgenic mice to study the effect of the marijuana component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on amyloid beta, the protein that forms the plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer‚Äôs patients. Timing is critical in his work‚ÄĒthe mice, which are difficult to breed, have to be a specific age at the time of an experiment. One Cao project, designed for 12-month-old mice, was delayed three months while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) processed the complicated paperwork that all marijuana researchers must submit under the current system. Some of the mice died while Cao waited for the approvals he needed to acquire the THC for the experiment; he ended up with too few animals that were all too old to generate useful data. ‚ÄúIt was a disaster,‚ÄĚ he says.”¬†Good article.

I can’t finish the research information without giving out the link to the UCSD site:¬†Center for Medical Cannabis Research:¬†CMCR at UCSD, has clinical trials and ongoing research into medical uses of cannabis.

How to purchase hemp derived CBD oil. 

The website that I found with the best guidance:¬†Everything You Need to Know About Buying CBD Oil Online¬†I chose this website because it has the following information: buying criteria, types of CBD products, top CBD brands, &¬†recommended products. You don’t have to buy it online, but you can use this information to guide you when you decide you want to purchase it.¬†“Typically, if you want to buy Cannabidiol (CBD) products you have to dig pretty deep to find accurate information. That‚Äôs because while CBD is becoming more popular, the information is typically scattered all across the web.¬†To compound this problem, CBD is also one of the most misunderstood dietary substances.¬†Many people confuse it with THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.¬†Contrary to these misconceptions, CBD is legal worldwide and is completely safe. It contains no psychoactive elements, so there is no chance of ‚Äúgetting high.‚ÄĚ For more details see CBD vs THC.

Once you are ready to look at products, there are still many other factors to consider including; brand, CBD concentration, type of product, and above all, your very own needs.

At, we strongly believe that an informed customer is a happy customer. Our goal here is to empower you to make the best decisions possible when it comes to CBD supplements and feel 100% comfortable with your choices. We also aim to cut through the bulk of misinformation that surrounds CBD, so this guide was written with scientific integrity from start to finish. You can also download a PDF file of the same information on this site.

Hemp derived CBD oil has such potential for medicinal use. When you decide to buy it here are a few of my own tips:

  • Do your homework first.¬†
  • Hempseed oil in the grocery store for cooking is not the same thing!
  • Buy for quality not for a lower price.
  • Products that claim to CURE everything…don’t.¬†
  • EU certified hemp growers is a real thing & a good idea.
  • Make sure it has been tested for pesticides, heavy metals & fungus: check out this website BlueBird Botanicals Hemp Derived CBD oil¬†

Medical, hemp derived, CBD oil is becoming big business. This means there are a lot of fraudulent claims & “snake oil” salesmen out there. I sincerely hope this post gives you the information you need to purchase a safe medicinal oil. I also sincerely hope that it does not dissuade you from trying it. It is important that you share with your physician, no matter what he/she thinks of its use, that you are using CBD hemp oil & if you are using medical marijuana products. It can make a difference in the medications you are perscribed……..Mary



Mastering Healthy Eating on a Budget by Chef Jessica.


This weeks post is an article that my friend, Chef Jessica Leibovich, wrote. Jessica is this months Contributing Writer for our nonprofit, The San Diego Cancer Research Institute. If you haven’t discovered this page, then click on the link above & enjoy the many informative articles we have show cased.

Your Complete Guide to Mastering Healthy Eating on a Budget:

Many families spend up to half of the money they earn monthly on meals making it one of the largest expenses. It doesn’t have to be, though, there are ways to keep the food costs down and still eat healthy delicious meals. Healthy eating isn’t rocket science, but our stressful and busy lives make convenience items and restaurants seem more appealing than a healthy and budgeted home prepared meal. If you make healthy eating convenient and affordable at the same time, you’ll have no problem switching to better food. It will just become a regular habit.

Healthy doesn’t always mean expensive, but it always means real. Real food is healthy. Eating whole is eating healthy. If it is in a box or a bag, just because it does not have a lot of calories, does not mean it is healthy. Make your own food! Eat fresh, eat whole.

If you are not used to cooking your own food, there will be a bit of an initial investment in stocking the kitchen but you will quickly see it pay off as you eat from home more and more often.

I also strongly suggest you get a good kitchen knife. This will make cooking more enjoyable. You do not need to buy an expensive set. Having just one chef’s knife and a good paring knife, is really all you need.

Here are two great knives that will literally last a lifetime (if you treat them well).

Chef Jessica’s Top Ten Tips to Healthy Eating on a Budget:

  1. Do your own grocery shopping and cooking for as many meals as you can: I recommend all breakfasts (breakfast out is almost never healthy), 5 lunches, and 5 dinners all be made from home. That gives you 4 meals a week to eat out. This is the most I would suggest. To me, this is a lot! Does this sound challenging to you? If so, you are probably spending too much on food and not eating as healthy as you could.
  2. Shop from the circular: Before you even head into the grocery store, you should read the circular or weekly ad and find out which items on sale you would like to buy. You can view it online or grab one in the store before you start to shop. I will often plan my meals from the circular. This alone will save you a ton of money!
  3. Go to more than one store to find the best price: Often different stores have different items on sale. Finding what stores or farmers market vendors have the best prices for your favorite item is the most cost efficient way to shop. Limiting this to two stores will minimize time constraints as running all over town will defeat the purpose. In my community of Carlsbad, I love Sprouts for meat and produce, Costco for a few staples, and Farmer’s markets for additional veggies
  4. Keep a rotation of favorites and plan your meals: Honey Chicken Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Flank Steak Wednesdays, Dad‚Äôs Famous Chicken Sundays, etc. They don‚Äôt always have to be on the same day if something is not looking fresh at the store or another item is on sale but having a solid 5-7 meals that everyone loves on a weekly rotation will ensure you have many of the pantry items available which saves time and money. It also is less to think about when answering the big question ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs for dinner?‚ÄĚ.
  5. Shop seasonally: Asparagus is $1.97 a pound in the Spring but $4.99 in the Fall. Often shopping seasonally will naturally happen if you shop from the circular but by shopping in the season you are using nature’s bounty to your advantage.
  6. Be Mindful of your portions: When food goes into the trash that is just like throwing money away. Try shopping more often like two or three times a week, each trip just getting what you need for the next few days. If you have a stocked pantry, you will mostly be filling up on fresh items such as produce, meats, dairy, and nuts. Using smaller plates for meals, especially for dinner will not only help you keep your weight optimal, it will reduce waste of food. Take smaller portions and if you want seconds, go for it, but if not, use the leftovers as the lunch for the next day. This will save you money as well.
  7. Avoid Impulse Buying. The best way to avoid impulse buying is to prepare yourself before you do the grocery shopping. Make a list and stick to it and eat before you go shopping. Try not to shop when you are hungry! If you are in a big chain supermarket, sticking to the ends of the market and staying away from the middle will help with this objective.
  8. Keep an organized fridge and pantry. Leftovers and make ahead meals to freeze are always great, but it totally defeats the purpose if they get lost in the back of the fridge. Label leftovers and keep your fridge organized to help minimize food waste. Go through the fridge weekly and the freezer twice a month to utilize items before they go bad.
  9. Stock your kitchen with a variety of different items to make it easier to pull together meals on the fly. Keeping your kitchen stocked with staples and a variety of items you use every day.

Here is a sample list of some great things to keep on hand. Keep in mind, this is just a short list of suggestions and you can change this and customize it to your family’s preferences.

Staples: pasta, lentils, rice, sweet potatoes, polenta, quinoa, bread, peas, potatoes

Vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, corn, fresh spinach, celery, and carrots

Dairy and eggs: cheese in bulk, Greek yogurt, eggs, organic cream and butter

Fruit: apples, bananas, oranges, seasonal fruits such as berries

Pantry: peanut butter, almond butter, tuna, beans, coconut milk, broth, canned tomatoes, tamari, honey and nuts

Meat: Chicken whole or butchered, ground turkey, grass fed ground beef, flank steak, lamb stew

Spices: salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder, lemon pepper, cinnamon

Cooking: olive oil, garlic, onions, Dijon mustard, Balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar

(All of the food mentioned here also happens to be great for fitness and muscle building, boosting your immune system and aiding in post workout recovery.)

And my final rule for mastering healthy eating on a budget….

  1. Grow Your Own Food. It’s cheaper than frozen and it tastes better and you control what chemicals are sprayed. Plant your own trees that grow berries, walnuts & apples. Buy chickens for free eggs & meat. Google Square Foot and Container Gardening for more ideas.

Thanks so much for reading! What is your favorite money saving tip? Tell me in an email to Mary (!

Chef Jessica Leibovich is the founder of Eat, Breathe, Move, Heal. She has spent over 15 years as a personal chef specializing in nutrition and checking for the best prices in grocery stores.  She has a variety of services online and in person to assist you with all levels of your nutrition needs. Check out more about Chef Jessica at,

I hope you enjoyed reading Jessica’s article as much as I did. Lot’s of great information. Be sure & visit her website & Facebook page…..Mary