Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Protein List - Weight Gain

For weight gain, we have found protein through the following:

Hemp Seeds
Chia Seeds
Flax Seeds
Chicken Liver
Soaked legumes - garbanzo beans, black beans, edamame beans, mung beans, soy beans, cannelini beans, kidney beans (highest level of protein)
My father will put a small chicken in a crock pot and create fresh chicken broth for her\
Grass fed, hormone-free ground beef
Fresh turkey meat
Tofu (sparingly)
Fish - Top sources of protein are tuna, salmon, halibut, snapper, flounder, sole, cod, tilapia
Cottage Cheese
Nuts - almonds, peanuts, pistachios, mixed nuts
Seeds - Hemp seeds, Flax Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds
Rice Protein Powder

Astragalus - Immune Booster


My mother uses an alcohol free astragalus extract. She mixes it with the powder from her life booster pills. 


Other common name(s): milk vetch, huang qi, huang ch', ogi, hwanggi, bei qi, radix astragali, goat's horn, green dragon, locoweed
Scientific/medical name(s): Astragalus membranaceus


Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine taken from a plant known as Astragalus membranaceus, which is a type of bean (legume). The root is used in herbal remedies.


Animal studies and preliminary human clinical studies suggest that astragalus may improve immune system function and boost the effect of conventional immune therapy for some cancers. But available scientific evidence does not support claims that astragalus can prevent cancer, cure cancer, extend survival, or reduce side effects of conventional cancer treatment. There is some suggestion that it may enhance the effects of certain chemotherapy drugs, but this theory needs to be tested more thoroughly.

How is it promoted for use?

The herb is promoted to kill cancer cells, reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy, help heal burns, protect against heart disease, fight the common cold, and help improve overall weakness. Proponents also claim astragalus can stimulate the spleen, liver, lungs, circulatory, and urinary system, and help treat arthritis, asthma, and nervous conditions. They further claim it can lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

What does it involve?

When dried, the root of the astragalus plant is sold in tea bags, tinctures, and capsules. It is also available as dried slices of the root and as a powder. In China, healers sometimes use the dried root in soups or roast the root in honey for use as a medicinal tonic. Astragalus is usually combined with other Chinese herbal remedies.

What is the history behind it?

For more than 2,000 years, Chinese herbalists have recommended astragalus to help the human body build up energy and resist diseases including cancer, heart disease, liver and kidney problems, and infections. It is the most commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine, though it is most often used with other herbs. Conventional medical researchers became interested in the possibility that astragalus might boost immune response and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.

What is the evidence?

The scientific evidence for the ability of astragalus to enhance the immune system and fight diseases, including cancer and heart disease, comes mostly from lab and animal studies. Researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that astragalus extract boosted the cell-destroying ability, or cytotoxicity, of the conventional immune system drug interleukin-2 (IL-2) by helping cells of the immune system. (This study was done using cells in the lab, not in humans.)
Astragalus partly restored the immune function of cells in test tubes. Some studies have suggested that it can reduce the length of colds. Astragalus may stimulate the body to produce interferons, a group of substances used by the body to defend against viral infections.
Though animal and laboratory studies show promise, more study is needed to find out if the results apply to humans. A few human studies of astragalus have been done, mostly in China, and some suggest that this herb might help the immune system cells in people who have cancer. But most experts who have reviewed these studies said that flaws in the way the most of this research was designed, conducted, or analyzed make it difficult to say if their results are valid. If the herb is found to boost immune system effects and help fight tumors, it may be helpful as an adjunct to chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.
A 2006 review of the most reliable studies of astragalus and lung cancer found some evidence that this herb might enhance the effects of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin. The reviewers recommended that more rigorously designed studies be conducted. A non-randomized clinical trial of patients with lung cancer found no evidence that astragalus increased the effectiveness of a different type of chemotherapy drug, docetaxel.
The consensus of available scientific evidence does not support claims that astragalus can prevent or cure cancer in humans or decrease the toxic effects of chemotherapy or other conventional cancer treatments. Large-scale human trials are needed to learn about the benefits, if any, of astragalus in people with cancer.
Are there any possible problems or complications?
This product is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States. Unlike companies that produce drugs (which must be tested before being sold), the companies that make supplements are not required to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that their supplements are safe or effective, as long as they don't claim the supplements can prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease.
Some such products may not contain the amount of the herb or substance that is on the label, and some may include other substances (contaminants). Actual amounts per dose may vary between brands or even between different batches of the same brand. In 2007, the FDA wrote new rules to improve the quality of manufacturing for dietary supplements and the proper listing of supplement ingredients. But these rules do not address the safety of the ingredients or their effects on health.
Most such supplements have not been tested to find out if they interact with medicines, foods, or other herbs and supplements. Even though some reports of interactions and harmful effects may be published, full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Because of these limitations, any information on ill effects and interactions below should be considered incomplete.
Astragalus is generally thought to be safe. Reported side effects include belly bloating, loose stools, low blood pressure, and dehydration. People with autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus) or people taking drugs that suppress the immune system (such as corticosteroids or cyclosporin) should talk with their doctors before taking this herb.
There is some concern that astragalus might interfere with blood clotting, so some doctors say that it should not be taken before surgery or in people taking aspirin-like drugs or blood-thinning medicines. It may also affect blood pressure in some, so those taking blood pressure medicines may need to be watched more closely if they use this herb. There have also been reports of lowered blood sugar, which could be dangerous for those with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
Other potential interactions between herbs and medicines are possible, some of which may be dangerous. Always tell your doctor and pharmacist about the herbs you are taking.
Allergic reactions are rare. People who are allergic to other legumes (peas and beans) may be more likely to be allergic to astragalus. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

Orgain - Alternative to Ensure & Boost. Weight Gain. Meal during Chemo.

An alternative to Boost and Ensure is Orgain. Orgain was created to be "the world's healthiest drink". It was created by a cancer survivor and practicing physician. All the information can be found here:


This is a great meal supplement for cancer patients going through chemo or have very little appetite. I found that the vitamin store had great deals on this product from time to time. Check online.

Erom Organic Raw Meal 45

I wanted to share this product as this is something my father came across in Korea town and bought for my mother when she had reached a point of zero appetite. She would take this every morning along with her life booster pills (see blog). Additionally she drinks Orgain (see blog) to help with the weight gain. 


 Erom Organic Raw Meal 45 (40 g x 60 packs)

Affordable Health Diet1 Serving = 1 Meal : 40g (1 pack, 140 calories)

Erom Organic Raw Meal 45
(40 g x 120 packs)

Erom natural raw meal made with over 45 healthful ingredients including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seaweed, mushrooms. It's packaged individually, and very convenient to carry on bag or take it wherever you go.
Raw food diet is known to help fight cancer and is good for preventive measures as well. Almost every cancer-fighting diet is actually a variation of the raw food diet!
Erom Saeng Sik, what is Saeng Sik?
The term " Saeng Sik" (Uncooked Food Diet) literally means eating something right after it has been harvested. The main benefit of a " Saeng Sik " is that it enables us to maintain optimal health and sound METABOLISM, while at the same time protecting our bodies from the harmful effects of cooked and processed foods. However, it is not reasonable to expect everyone to go out into the fields and eat uncooked "raw" foods everyday. We need a more convenient way to eat natural uncooked foods and benefit from their nutritional values.
Saeng Sik uses the latest freeze-drying methods to freeze uncooked foods, under pressure, to a temperature below -40°C and then powder the nutrients contained in the uncooked whole foods,and keeps the chlorophyll, seed yolk, and various enzymes intact.
Good for those who:
1.   Need improvement in their dietary habits for a healthy life
2.   Skip breakfast
3.   Are students and spend a lot of time studying
4.   Love wating fast food
5.   Are constantly in fatigue conditions
6.   Are suffering from any sort of adult diseases
7.   Have increased their blood thickness by smoking and alcohol
8.   Have been suffering from constipation or diarrhea for a long time
9.   Want to improve their physical constitution
10. Want to go ona diet
11. Want to have clear skin.
Brown rice, glutinous millet, Indian millet, millet, Job's tears, glutinious brown rice, barley, red bean, agaricus rice, black sesame, soy bean powder, small black soybean, potato, kale, anglica utilis, cabbage, dropwort, radish leaves, broccoli, leek, barley leaves, carrot, burdock, radish, codonopsis lanceolata, pumpkin, citron, tomato, mugwort, pine needle, lentinus edodes, reishi mushroom, laver, brown seaweed, tabgle, sea lettuce, yeast, lactobacillus acidophillus, spirulina, oligo saccharide, pediococcus pentosaceus.
Important Note:
This product is fiber-rich and has undiluted nutrients. Drink 1 additional cup (8 oz.) of water to maximize digestion.
How to prepare healthy meal in a minuate

Healthy meal has never been easier!
Start your day the right way with Natural Organic Raw Meal Erom45 or JUVO

Erom natural raw meal made with over 45 healthful ingredients including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seaweed, mushrooms. It's packaged individually, and very convenient to carry on bag or take it wherever you go.

Total Time: less than 1 min
Shake and ready

What need: Soy Milk (1 pack or 1 cup), Natural Organic Raw Meal Erom45 or JUVO (1 pack), Erom Easy Shaker Cup.

1. Prepare Soy Milk, Natural Organic Raw Meal Erom45 (1 pack), Erom Easy Shaker Cup.
2. Pour soy milk into Erom Easy Shaker Cup.
3. Pour Natural Organic Raw Meal Erom45 (1 pack) into Erom Easy Shaker Cup.
4. Put a lid on the Erom Easy Shaker Cup.
5. Shake until well-blended.
6. Now, please enjoy your healthy meal.

She lives

After spending 2 1/2 months in LA fighting to save my mom's life with nutrition and love alone, I am back in San Francisco. My mother lives. Below is an email to a dear friend of mine detailing the latest situation in her stage 4 cancer journey. I will continue to update this blog with the information and research I found surrounding fighting cancer with nutrition however life is crazy and I can't post daily. Please do check in from time to time though because I will make a concerted effort to get the information out as quickly as possible.

Dear Erika,

So I have been back almost two weeks now and I tell you, life just simply does not stop. In fact I think it's gotten faster. I can hardly keep up. In the two and a half month while I was in my underworld, I wondered what life back on top would be like again. Now here I am and i'm still so lost in the moment, I hardly have time to reflect. Too much I think. I have gone absent from writing for almost two weeks. 

Everything has changed with my mom's situation. The moment I left, my father changed her health plan (which was a monumental task I tell you) and got her out of the LA County system and into a non-public hospital. I went to visit last weekend and in the new hospital, the walls are purple and there are paintings and there is a very, very looooong cushioned stretch of platform near a desk for which the family member can stay. In LA County, as you know, I slept in chairs, small nooks, her bed and would sometimes get kicked out for being there with her. If only I had been privy to such a palace! No wonder it's not a thing for my father to spend the night with her. I did all the brunt of the work! She now has doctors that come in the form of one in lieu of dozens upon dozens of revolving students with an attending not so much looking at her as someone to treat but someone to learn from. I didn't realize the drastic difference until I sat in that hospital room and met, for the first time, her very own oncologist...and he was Chinese and he spoke Chinese. All translation duties for me were instantly eliminated. 

Her CT Scan has come back and her tumors are all gone again. We don't doubt that she still has cancer...but this is a mind bending shift from the last CT results which showed tumors in her liver, kidney, colon and stomach. At LAC USC they told her that the two tubes would never come out of her stomach. At White Memorial, the liver specialist asked us why she had those? Now they are in the process of removing them. Today she called me and told me she has gained six pounds. As we come upon 1 1/2 years of living with stage 4 cancer, although I am open and hold no expectations, it would be nice to make it past 5 years and enter the top 4% who have figured out how to live with cancer. My mother's cancer went away again with no chemo treatment. I accepted the inevitable and simply fell back on nutrition to sustain the body. That says something about nutrition which I was nazi-like in executing.

For two months I lived in hospitals and went through the thousand shades of how to die alongside her. I now know that the act of death itself is not so torturous as the anticipation of it. At our most poignant moment, I had driven her to the ocean. She was, by the time we arrived there, so listless that I parked the car along the road by the ocean and took out a spoon and slowly fed her soup while her head barely moved. I told her that we had to at least get out and smell the ocean air. I walked over to the other side to open the door and helped lift her out so she could stand. We walked three steps so that we could at least see the ocean. That walk to the other side was one of the most reflective and heart touching moment of my life. I thought to myself, "this is the end". I held her fragile, 79 lb body as she leaned all of herself on me and we closed our eyes and breathed three breaths. 


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Snapshot of Nutritional Routine that seems to be working in my mom's recovery

For this blog, I really wanted to update it daily with the nutrition I have been providing my mother but the journey of cancer is so exhausting that I hardly have the energy to write at the end of the day. However for the sake of getting the information out and also to share a little bit of my experience of this cancer journey, here is a letter I wrote a friend of mine detailing the latest and highlighting the nutritional diet we have her on. Over time, I will continue to contribute more detailing each product. However if you are looking for some direction quickly, look at the highlighted items and research them to see if they will work for you.

Dear Erika,

As you know, when I arrived my mother was laid out in insufferable pain. She could not sleep through the night, she had nightmares, she couldn't get by with pain killers, she was vomiting, she was not eating etc. etc. At her worst, she weighted 81 lbs, lost her ability to walk and could not get out of bed due to the pain. Throughout the process both my father and I (though working separately) remained diligent in our commitment to nourishing her body with the maximum capacity of cancer fighting, tumor reducing, body regenerating nutrition. Additionally we massaged her and encouraged her relentlessly. As nothing else has been given her, I have to attribute her recovery to these factors. Currently she is self sufficient again. She can walk up and down stairs. She can get food for herself. She can wash her own hair. She is hand washing laundry and yesterday I found her in the kitchen scrubbing the walls and cleaning the oven. She stopped taking all pain killers and has been off of them for over three weeks now. Additionally she is sleeping through the night peacefully and is starting to gain weight again. This is a result of a combination of chinese herbs (red ginseng, red dates, longan, lychees), brazilian herbs (pau d'arco and graviola), flower tinctures (astragalus, milk thistle, echinacea), mushrooms (reishi, maitake and a complex of mushrooms called life boost), the indian spice turmeric, garlic, alpha lipoid acid, glutamine, b-17 apricot seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, brazil nuts, colostrum, a powder mix of 45 whole grains and green vegetables, noni juice from tahiti, fucoidan from Japan, electrolytes, orgain (the healthy version of boost and ensure) and a fresh juice concoction of cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, beets and blueberries (nature's top cancer fighting foods). In between all this are meals made by either my father or I rich in fruit, vegetables, seafood, omega, protein and whole grains. Her nutrition bootcamp starts at 7am and goes until midnight which is when I juice for her. I started noticing that if she consumes the juice before she goes to bed, it helps her get through the night. This is the culmination of all the work done since I got here, experimenting with this and that until we finally, FINALLY found a diet that seemed to be working and bringing in results. Lastly, love. Love, true love, is never to be underestimated. 

Much love,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Life Booster/Mushrooms - Immune Cell Recruiters

An Advertisement of Life Boost 

Three Times a Day, My mother takes the following combination mixed with 50 ml warm water:
  • 3 Life Boost capsules
  • 2 Maitake D-Fraction capsules
  • 1 Reishi capsule
  • Topped with the alcohol free extracts of either Astragalus, Kidney Tonic, Pau D'Arco or Graviola Cat's Claw

For more detailed information on the mushroom products we take and its healing effect on her body, please read on.
One of the supplements that my mother has been taking since she was first diagnosed over a year ago is the supplement LifeBoost made by a company called Green Pharm. Above is an advertisement of the product in a Chinese newspaper displaying the wide array of immune boosting mushrooms. Life Boost is formulated with 11 different kinds of mushrooms found to be effective against cancer. Here is a link to the site of the company that distribute Life Boost.
A little history of the healing factors of fungi:
The first anti-biotics came from fungi. Penicillin actually was derived from the extraction and synthesis of mushrooms. Mushrooms have long since been cultivated and developed by the Asian culture because they contain the proponents known to increase the body's resistance to disease. Due to the indigestible cell walls of mushrooms, they must be cooked in order for the nutrients to be released. Additionally, some mushrooms like Shiitake contain a chemical substance called Agaritin which is carcinogenic unless neutralized through cooking. 
Mushrooms are the superfoods of cancer and many other diseases because most of the medicinal versions contain complex sugar molecules (polysaccharides) that increase DNA and RNA of immune cells made in the bone marrow. More immune cells means more help to fight the invaders so mushrooms are like the phone call to the President of the body to send in more troops.
We focus on supplementing my mother's body with Reishi and Maitake Faction D mushroom capsules in addition to the Life Boost supplement. Then on top of that, I make it a point to use organic shiitake and maitake mushrooms in my cooking as often as possible. 
My mother has trouble swallowing pills so she breaks up the capsules into some warm water in order to consume them. She takes 3 Life Boost capsules, 2 Maitake D-Fraction capsules and 1 Reishi capsule 3 times a day. Each time, we add one of the following extracts into the mixture: Astragalus, a Kidney Tonic, Pau D' Arco or Graviola-Cat's Claw. I will go into these tonics in another post. For now, I just want to focus solely on the mushroom benefits. 

Source of Vitamins B1, B2, B12, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium and Vitamin D. It contains all 8 essential amino acids in more balanced proportions than eggs, milk, meat or soy.     
Cancer fighting property is a chemical called Lentinan. Lentinan has already been approved as a drug in Japan and is administered  to prolong the survival rates of patients with cancer and AIDS. It is also thought to prevent the chromosomal damage caused from anti-cancer drugs. It inhibits metastasis, prevents tumor growth, improves host resistance to bacteria, viral and parasitic infections, protects the liver, has a positive effect on the cardio vascular system and regulates the immune system. Additionally shiitake mushrooms lower blood cholesterol by as much as 45%!

This mushroom has been cultivated by the Chinese for over 2000 years. In Japan, it is listed as a superior medicine with the nick name of "God's herbs", and in China, it was known as the "Elixir of Immortality" and is considered to be in the highest class of tonics. 
Cancer fighting properties include the enhancement of white blood cells (immune cells), platelets, hemoglobin and other various tumor fighting cells. It can reduce side effects of chemo, prolong survival, minimize metastasis and in some cases, prevent recurrence. It has a high Germanium content which is said to neutralize pain during the final stages of cancer. Additionally it is known for enhancing the quality of the skin and treating lupus, allergies, heart diseases, regulating blood pressure and reducing caffeine effects by relaxing the muscles.

Compared to Reishi and Shiitake, Maitake does not have thousands of years of research behind it. However there is fast interest of science research backing its popularity because of its anticancer properties.
Cancer fighting properties include increased immune protection and activating the body's self healing powers by stopping normal cells from carcinogenesis, inhibiting tumor growth, preventing metastasis of tumor cells and reducing side effects during chemo. 
D-Fraction is a stronger form of Maitake. It is a result of a different extraction process. For maximum enhancement, take a D-Fraction capsule along with a D-Fraction extract. We do this with the Life Boost as the Life Boost has 11 mushroom components in its capsules.
Coriolus Versicolor (also known as PSK and "Turkey Tail")                                                                                

Currently our version of PSK comes in our Life Boost supplement but I am going to order an additional extract today after all the research I discovered on it. 
PSK is an approved anti-cancer drug in Japan and has over 20 years of research behind it. In the studies done on it, PSK has shown to yield extended survivor rate for patients with cancer. PSK stimulates the primary white blood cells that are responsible for dissolving tumors and inhibiting them. It has been used with chemo in successful results of producing remissions and extended survival time. 
In Conclusion                                                                                                                                         

The consumption of mushrooms whether or not you have cancer are nothing but beneficial to you if you choose to include them in your diet. Mushrooms are like little miracle bars that nature has scattered throughout the forest and eating mushrooms (with a little garlic - another power food) 1-2 times a day can prevent the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver damage and cancer. If you have had cancer there are studies which prove that the consumption of mushrooms as a preventative course has been both effective and successful. 
As for my mom, one of the little triumphs we experienced in our cancer journey is that this concoction has calmed her stomach down when it starts acting up. At this point, my mother is no longer reliant on pain killers and this is from a woman who was on a 24 hr dilaudid drip for one week straight! For us, chemo is not an option even if we wanted to because her cancer is so advanced. The doctor told us that the contrast and the no food after midnight would be enough to send her down. Given this fact, it is a relief that we have found this concoction to be beneficial. On another note, when my mom was first diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer, she took this combination everyday until it went into remission, complete remission. Had she not done a complete relapse from nutrition and awareness, maybe it would still be in remission today...but then I wouldn't have a blog up sharing all this information which might be helpful to others in similar situations.