GREEN CONSCIOUSNESS

posted by Healing Quest - 

GREEN CONSCIOUSNESS

When a noted physician’s wife was given a grim diagnosis prognosis for  breast cancer, the couple made an unconventional decision.  We hear first-hand how voiding everyday toxins has helped them continue to celebrate life two decades later.  Then a leader in the field of environmental medicine relates the healing benefits of developing a “green consciousness” with tips on how we can do it.

Organics and toxic chemicals can be a controversial topic.   Take for example this email from Michael, one of our listeners: “You guys talk a lot about organics but I don’t get the big deal about them.  Farmers need pesticides to grow food and how many pesticides could there actually be in what we eat every day?  Just little tiny amounts I’m sure.  So what difference do organics really make, except for jacking up food prices?”

That’s a question we’re sure many people have.  Even though the cost of organic food is coming down many folks just don’t think organics will do that much for their health.  And many folks may also believe that concern about toxic chemicals is exaggerated.  So we think the story of Alan and Cheryl Greene may provide a different and useful perspective on this.

Alan Greene is a noted pediatrician, author and nutritional expert and he and his wife Cheryl credit organics with playing an essential role in keeping her alive and thriving after a very serious bout with breast cancer.   Their story begins in 1995 when they launched a website to answer questions from Dr. Greene’s patients:

“They would send in their question and late at night after my kids were in bed I’d sit up and write answers to their questions.  By early 1996 we had visitors from all over the planet so I closed my practice to new patients and said I would go ahead and start answering these questions.”

Cheryl did all the programming and technical parts of the website and Dr. Greene did the medical content.  In his words it was a great team effort and in fact at one point the AMA cited Dr. Greene as “the pioneer physician website.”

But in March 1996 a lump was found in Cheryl’s breast and the prognosis was not good.  Cheryl told us the doctors called them in and said “it’s time to get things in order.  This is March and you won’t make it to New Years.”   Alan told us he was floored:

“I wanted to shut down my practice, shut down the website and just focus on being together for the little time we had.  But Cheryl said no.  She said that we’re in this place where we’re having an impact and I want to leave a legacy, I want to do something to leave behind that’s going to have a high impact.  So, listening to her, we decided we were just going to go ahead and do that, keep answering the questions from people and get everything out there we could while we could work together.”

When Cheryl was first diagnosed she and Alan had a nine-month-old son.  So despite being told that she wouldn’t make it to New Years, Cheryl resolved that she would not only make it beyond New Years but that she would live to see her son graduate from high school.  So she began a series of grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments.   And she and Alan began a quest to find the cause of her cancer.

Cheryl said they reviewed her personal and family history and found no risk factors.   But Alan then discovered another possibility:

“I began to see the studies about many of the chemicals used in modern life and particularly at that time it was the chemicals in agriculture and the way they relate to breast cancer.  She was raised on a conventional grape farm, a raisin farm, where they used high levels of toxic pesticides that had already been linked to breast cancer back then.”

Said Cheryl:

“As a kid growing up my bedroom window was just feet away from the field.  I remember on a Saturday morning lying in bed, hearing the spray rig coming past my window thinking how great it was because I was still in bed and somebody else was outside working not realizing that I was just being exposed to all those toxins.  But that was the world we lived in.”

So Alan and Cheryl said they started paying attention to the chemicals in the world around them and the impact those chemicals were having on their and their family’s health.  And Alan said ever since then he’s paid extremely close attention to ongoing research about this topic:

“There’s been some really interesting studies recently looking at ways to prevent breast cancer, nutritional ways to prevent breast cancer.  We know many plant based foods are really valuable, have valuable nutrients in them.”

Happily, Cheryl has had no sign of cancer now for over two decades.  She told us that she was very blessed to have had the treatments and support group, and she said she’s also blessed by the results of the change she and Alan have made in their life. 

They focused on and succeeded in significantly reducing the chemicals in their life, starting with their nutrition.   That may sound like a tall order but Cheryl has some advice about how to get the chemicals out of your food:

“Don’t become overwhelmed by having to change everything at once.   A lot of times we don’t make any change because it seems like it’s too much.  But every step that you take is a step in the right direction.  When you’re shopping choosing just one out of every 10 items organic at first is a great way to start.  And then when you’re comfortable with that go to two out of 10 and then three out of 10 and do what’s comfortable for you. 

“The great thing is that the price of organics has really come down in the last 10 years.  And the availability is much greater.  And people are understanding that when they eat organic that it impacts not just their own lives but it impacts the farmers who are growing them, the farm workers who are exposed to them, and our whole environment.” 

Alan and Cheryl also focus on the household cleaning products they use, things like laundry detergent, dishwasher soap and glass cleaner.  Cheryl told us she looks for cleaning products that are very clear about how many, or better yet how few, chemicals are in them.  And she says she’s equally careful about the ingredients in their personal care products.

She said she and Alan are very conscious of the concept of bio-accumulation.  That’s the cumulative effect of using 8 to 14 items 365 days a year for 30 or 40 years with chemicals that have not been safety tested.  So even tiny amounts can accumulate over years and decades and do serious harm. 

In fact a new medical specialty has developed to deal with this.  It’s called Environmental Medicine and Dr. Soram Khalsa of Beverly Hills is a leader in this field.

“In environmental medicine we have the concept of total body burden and that concept is over the course of our lifetimes we build up a continuous load of these environmental toxins, starting with childbirth and that we believe, doctors who practice like I, that we have a bucket in our body that fills up with these toxins, that at some point in our lives this begins to overflow and when it overflows it goes in one of two directions: Cancer or inflammatory diseases—rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, allergies, even coronary heart disease now has a high component of inflammation.  So we feel that these chemicals, meaning doctors that practice like I, are contributors to the health care problems that we’re having in our society today.”

But the good news is that Dr. Khalsa says it’s now more possible than ever to avoid toxins in many areas of our life.

“Fortunately now there’s a tremendous movement towards Green Consciousness.  And there’s a new development of many products for the house that are green.  We have green detergents for our laundry, we have green soaps for our kitchen, we have green soaps to wash our hands.  And again I encourage all my patients to look for those green products along with organic foods so that we minimally expose ourselves to chemicals in our environments.”

Green Consciousness has certainly paid big dividends for Cheryl and Alan Greene.  You may remember that when Cheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer and given only months to live they had a nine-month-old son and Cheryl vowed to see him graduate from high school.  We’re pleased to report that she has not only done that, she’s also about to see him graduate from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. 

She says he’s going to follow his passion for education for the developing world by working as a software engineer.   And we’re happy to report that Cheryl continues to thrive – organically of course.

Organics and toxic chemicals can be a controversial topic.   Take for example this email from Michael, one of our listeners: “You guys talk a lot about organics but I don’t get the big deal about them.  Farmers need pesticides to grow food and how many pesticides could there actually be in what we eat every day?  Just little tiny amounts I’m sure.  So what difference do organics really make, except for jacking up food prices?”

That’s a question we’re sure many people have.  Even though the cost of organic food is coming down many folks just don’t think organics will do that much for their health.  And many folks may also believe that concern about toxic chemicals is exaggerated.  So we think the story of Alan and Cheryl Greene may provide a different and useful perspective on this.

Alan Greene is a noted pediatrician, author and nutritional expert and he and his wife Cheryl credit organics with playing an essential role in keeping her alive and thriving after a very serious bout with breast cancer.   Their story begins in 1995 when they launched a website to answer questions from Dr. Greene’s patients:

“They would send in their question and late at night after my kids were in bed I’d sit up and write answers to their questions.  By early 1996 we had visitors from all over the planet so I closed my practice to new patients and said I would go ahead and start answering these questions.”

Cheryl did all the programming and technical parts of the website and Dr. Greene did the medical content.  In his words it was a great team effort and in fact at one point the AMA cited Dr. Greene as “the pioneer physician website.”

But in March 1996 a lump was found in Cheryl’s breast and the prognosis was not good.  Cheryl told us the doctors called them in and said “it’s time to get things in order.  This is March and you won’t make it to New Years.”   Alan told us he was floored:

“I wanted to shut down my practice, shut down the website and just focus on being together for the little time we had.  But Cheryl said no.  She said that we’re in this place where we’re having an impact and I want to leave a legacy, I want to do something to leave behind that’s going to have a high impact.  So, listening to her, we decided we were just going to go ahead and do that, keep answering the questions from people and get everything out there we could while we could work together.”

When Cheryl was first diagnosed she and Alan had a nine-month-old son.  So despite being told that she wouldn’t make it to New Years, Cheryl resolved that she would not only make it beyond New Years but that she would live to see her son graduate from high school.  So she began a series of grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments.   And she and Alan began a quest to find the cause of her cancer.

Cheryl said they reviewed her personal and family history and found no risk factors.   But Alan then discovered another possibility:

“I began to see the studies about many of the chemicals used in modern life and particularly at that time it was the chemicals in agriculture and the way they relate to breast cancer.  She was raised on a conventional grape farm, a raisin farm, where they used high levels of toxic pesticides that had already been linked to breast cancer back then.”

Said Cheryl:

“As a kid growing up my bedroom window was just feet away from the field.  I remember on a Saturday morning lying in bed, hearing the spray rig coming past my window thinking how great it was because I was still in bed and somebody else was outside working not realizing that I was just being exposed to all those toxins.  But that was the world we lived in.”

So Alan and Cheryl said they started paying attention to the chemicals in the world around them and the impact those chemicals were having on their and their family’s health.  And Alan said ever since then he’s paid extremely close attention to ongoing research about this topic:

“There’s been some really interesting studies recently looking at ways to prevent breast cancer, nutritional ways to prevent breast cancer.  We know many plant based foods are really valuable, have valuable nutrients in them.”

Happily, Cheryl has had no sign of cancer now for over two decades.  She told us that she was very blessed to have had the treatments and support group, and she said she’s also blessed by the results of the change she and Alan have made in their life. 

They focused on and succeeded in significantly reducing the chemicals in their life, starting with their nutrition.   That may sound like a tall order but Cheryl has some advice about how to get the chemicals out of your food:

“Don’t become overwhelmed by having to change everything at once.   A lot of times we don’t make any change because it seems like it’s too much.  But every step that you take is a step in the right direction.  When you’re shopping choosing just one out of every 10 items organic at first is a great way to start.  And then when you’re comfortable with that go to two out of 10 and then three out of 10 and do what’s comfortable for you. 

“The great thing is that the price of organics has really come down in the last 10 years.  And the availability is much greater.  And people are understanding that when they eat organic that it impacts not just their own lives but it impacts the farmers who are growing them, the farm workers who are exposed to them, and our whole environment.” 

Alan and Cheryl also focus on the household cleaning products they use, things like laundry detergent, dishwasher soap and glass cleaner.  Cheryl told us she looks for cleaning products that are very clear about how many, or better yet how few, chemicals are in them.  And she says she’s equally careful about the ingredients in their personal care products.

She said she and Alan are very conscious of the concept of bio-accumulation.  That’s the cumulative effect of using 8 to 14 items 365 days a year for 30 or 40 years with chemicals that have not been safety tested.  So even tiny amounts can accumulate over years and decades and do serious harm. 

In fact a new medical specialty has developed to deal with this.  It’s called Environmental Medicine and Dr. Soram Khalsa of Beverly Hills is a leader in this field.

“In environmental medicine we have the concept of total body burden and that concept is over the course of our lifetimes we build up a continuous load of these environmental toxins, starting with childbirth and that we believe, doctors who practice like I, that we have a bucket in our body that fills up with these toxins, that at some point in our lives this begins to overflow and when it overflows it goes in one of two directions: Cancer or inflammatory diseases—rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, allergies, even coronary heart disease now has a high component of inflammation.  So we feel that these chemicals, meaning doctors that practice like I, are contributors to the health care problems that we’re having in our society today.”

But the good news is that Dr. Khalsa says it’s now more possible than ever to avoid toxins in many areas of our life.

“Fortunately now there’s a tremendous movement towards Green Consciousness.  And there’s a new development of many products for the house that are green.  We have green detergents for our laundry, we have green soaps for our kitchen, we have green soaps to wash our hands.  And again I encourage all my patients to look for those green products along with organic foods so that we minimally expose ourselves to chemicals in our environments.”

Green Consciousness has certainly paid big dividends for Cheryl and Alan Greene.  You may remember that when Cheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer and given only months to live they had a nine-month-old son and Cheryl vowed to see him graduate from high school.  We’re pleased to report that she has not only done that, she’s also about to see him graduate from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. 

She says he’s going to follow his passion for education for the developing world by working as a software engineer.   And we’re happy to report that Cheryl continues to thrive – organically of course.


Healing Quest

Healing Quest

Judy Brooks and Roy Walkenhorst are the hosts of Healing Quest on KFBK and talk about their decades in Sacramento-area and national media, and what made them pioneers in presenting cutting-edge information about natural approaches to health and... Read more

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