Best Steps for Vital Health in 2015

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

7 Genechanger Resolutions for Body, Mind, and Soul

The following is reprinted with the permission of Dr Mitch Gaynor.  I hope these tips help you attain blessed wellness throughout this and every year.

Best Steps for Vital Health in 2015, by Dr Mitch Gaynor

gaynor GTPThe Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle (Available April 2015-Preorder Now)

So here we are in a brand new year, one, I hope, that will bring you vibrancy and joy and a renewed commitment to your health. When you’re strong, everyone around you benefits. When you’re joyful, everyone nearby wants to respond in kind. I’ve always marveled at how a simple smile can change the mood of those around us. I’ve seen a smile switch the energy in hospitals, and I’ve seen that happen every time I greet one of my patients. Nothing is so dire that a smile, or a friendly hello, won’t redirect.

Here in our brand new year, the Genechanger approach to health is particularly viable. Genechanger modalities – healthy food, being present, exercise, positive attitude, toxic-free environments, nutrients, and gratitude – not only increase health for you, but for those around you. Their benefits also work far into the future, for your children and future generations, because they directly modify your DNA for the better.

In this first newsletter of 2015, I’ve broken down epigenetic steps to better health in 7 simple categories. Think of them as resolutions for the body, mind, and soul. If you can do them every day, you’ll have maximum success. If you waver from time to time, please don’t worry about it. We want to decrease stress, not add it.

So, welcome to a brand new year and the simple ways that you can change your future to one of health and poise. Please remember: Destiny is not fixed, the body is not static, and it’s never too late to bring back balance. Happy 2015 to you and yours!

Best 7 Genechanger Tips for Health Throughout 2015Even if you don’t practice all of these suggestions every single day, remember that incorporating them  – even for a few minutes or on most days – builds up the habit of doing them, which, in turn, makes their practice easier.  Practicing also enhances your sense of self-esteem and self-care.1. Being Positive

In my work as an oncologist for more than 30 years, I have incorporated meditation and sounds (mantras, guided meditation, Tibetan singing bowls, crystal sonic therapy) to enhance the health of my patients.  As scientific research reveals time and time again, a mind that is calm has less chance of being disposed to disease and helps lessen disease that might already be present.  I encourage my patients to meditate and to pray, whatever is most comfortable for them.

In The News

One recent reminder of the efficacy of positive thinking came on NBC’s “Evening News with Brian Williams” a few days before Christmas. Two consecutive nights included segments about the impact of prayer on the brain. Andrew Newberg of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and his research team documented that contemplating a loving God reduces stress and that intense prayer and meditation can permanently alter functions and structures in the brain, including increased activity in the brain’s frontal lobes, home to consciousness and decision making. (Newberg is also author of “How God Changes the Brain.”)

A recent study from the University of California looked at the effects of meditation on the same person using two different techniques and found that there were “strong correlations between depth of meditation and neural activity in the left inferior forebrain.”  We can’t claim definitively that positive thoughts cure disease, or that negative thoughts cause disease, but we can say that positive thoughts, prayer, and meditation release neurotransmitters like serotonin (which decreases stress) and enhance brain function which, in turn, augments better health.

2. Best Fresh Foods

I can’t say it enough: Eat healthy food because, in fact, you are what you eat.  The choice for natural organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables that are free of preservatives, artificial coloring, and hundreds of other chemicals, assures that you are feeding your body with the healthiest nutrition available and avoiding environmental toxins like pesticides and man-made preservatives.  Please skip the boxed, canned, and plastic-sealed foods. Keep salt, trans-fats, fast foods, saturated fats, white sugar, artificial chemical sweeteners, and refined grains to an absolute minimum. Avoid meats that have been fried and breaded.  Eat more salmon and grilled chicken.  If this means you must shop every couple of days, plan to do that.

Foods And Genes

Nutritional genomics analyzes the effects of foods on the genes. I have been studying and practicing the application of better nutrition for my patients throughout my career and seen verifiable, positive, medical effects for patients who change their diets and lifestyles.  Like other good habits, you’ll learn to shop more frequently for fresh food, and, most likely, you’ll wind up with fewer items at checkout.  You will avoid those “impulse” items that offer a quick fix, but can also help promote chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

BBC News recently reported that eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day is even healthier than the recommended five portions per day. Researchers from the University College London confirmed better health benefits through an analysis of 65,226 men and women in surveys conducted over seven years.


Juicing is one of my top recommendations to patients simply because it’s fast, easy, and provides a sure way to consume several recommended portions in one morning drink.  In my new book, “The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle,” due in April from Viking, you’ll find many recipes that focus on the healthiest foods for our bodies, including an abundance of easy juicing recipes to kick-start your day.  One piece of good news:  According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, purchase of ready-to-eat, grain-based desserts (pies, cakes, cookies) decreased by 24% between 2005 and 2012.

3. Best Nutrients Personalized for You

Many of my patients are stunned the first time I hand them a few pages circled with my recommended nutrients and supplements for their particular stage of recovery from cancer.  There are a total of 10 pages of such supplements from which I choose for each patient – everything from chaga mushrooms, curcumin, and turmeric to B-4, lycopene, and blackseed cumin. Most patients are taking less than 20 daily supplements.  But the moral here is that while nutrients and supplements are definitely a boon to building up the immune system, reducing inflammation, turning on tumor suppressant genes, etc. – choosing which supplements is something you definitely need to pursue under the guidance of a well informed physician or other health care professional.

Research Confirms

Just two research examples of their efficacy: Vitamin D, selenium, and calcium have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing colectoral and breast cancer as reported in the “European Journal of Cancer.” Another study confirmed the effectiveness of dietary components that targeted breast cancer and its prevention.

Supplements, like drugs, may have adverse effects when taken together, and only a nutritional professional knows which are appropriate, which work best together, and which work with your current medications. We have a number of blogs on the genechanger website about the efficacy of various nutrients.  What’s most important is that you take supplements as recommended for your particular set of medical needs.  Just going out and buying the latest thing you heard about on TV is not healthy.

4. Body Care Through Exercise

Every single one of us, I’d venture to say, already knows that frequent exercise is good for us.  We know that regular exercise helps us lose weight, combat disease, boost our energy, and uplift our mood.   According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can also boost sexual energy, promote better sleep, and provide some fun.  From an epigenetic point of view, there are direct benefits to our genes, as well.  That means the positive effects of exercise are long standing, for ourselves and for our future offspring.  According to the CDC, less than 50% of American adults use aerobic exercise, only 24% participate in muscle-strengthening activity, and a very disappointing 20% meet guidelines for participating in both.

Exercise Your Brain

What we know from the genechanger perspective:  According to research cited by the Mayo Clinic, for instance, there is solid scientific evidence to support the use of DHEA, a brain hormone that leads to the production of androgens and estrogens, to increase bone density, another good case for supplementing your exercise when appropriate.

There’s also a study from the Harvard School of Public Health just released in December that found that for older people, adding weight training to your exercise routine is the key to losing belly fat. Their study reviewed habits of more than 10,000 men over the age of 40 between 1996 and 2008.  Conclusion:  Aerobics can take off the pounds, and weight training can take off the inches.

Be Consistent

The best exercise, of course, is done several times a week, if not every day.  You must pace yourself, check with your physician if you have any chronic diseases, and evidence, anecdotal and scientific, supports the idea of exercising with another, or at least in a gym setting, to keep you motivated.

I recommend 20-30 minutes a day of weight-bearing exercises (walking is probably the easiest to pull off) at least five days a week.

5. Beautiful Toxic-Free Environments

The environment I want to talk about is not just the sky, ocean, lakes, rivers, and forests that we must do all we can to protect for future generations.  In addition to having fewer toxins in our exterior environment, we need to focus on how to create toxic-free environments, particularly in our homes. Entire books have been written about the dangers of environmental toxins, including my own, “Nurture Nature Nurture Health: Your Health and the Environment.”

Unseen, these toxins are ubiquitous and buried in the chemicals that dye upholstery, drapes, carpets, pillows, bedding, and bath products.  They’re in our microwaves and televisions. Harmful toxins also account for how furniture is manufactured and line the cans that hold food products.  They’re likely to be in baby bottles. PVC, the third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, is everywhere – plastic containers, plastic wrap, your credit cards, etc. PVC is a plastic that makes us think it is the only way to store (and heaven forbid) heat food.  It is not.

Avoid Plastic

Do not use plastic in microwaves. A Dartmouth study found that when heating plastic wrap with olive oil in a microwave, the concentration of xenoestrogens (cancer-producing estrogens that act like natural estrogens) was 500,000 times greater than the minimum amount of estrogen required to produce cancer cells in a test tube.

Briefly, be mindful of the following:

  • Look for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) label for low-emitting formaldehyde furnishings.
  • Choose all wood products.
  • Chose carpeting made fro jute, cotton or wool.
  • Dry clean textiles as infrequently as possible.
  • Never use plastic wrap, plastic containers in a microwave. [okay so maybe skip the micro when at all possible]
  • Use non-chlorine bleach.
  • Make sure there is no lead paint in your home.
  • Read labels on cosmetics and skin care labels to avoid excessive chemicals.
  • Have your home tested by a certified hygienist for the presence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), carbon dioxide, and asbestos.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways that chemicals pervade our environment, including our homes and offices.  Just be mindful that toxic chemicals have been linked to almost every kind of cancer, emphysema, COPD, heart disease, children’s asthma, ADHD, the list goes on.  Each of us can use our time in stores to say no to those products that rely on chemicals to preserve, color, or manufacture.

6. Being Present

In recent years, the mindfulness movement has become almost as popular as yoga in this country.  Both are Eastern-sourced techniques that restore the mind and body to its natural state of being.  In America, meditation’s benefits have been adapted for Western practitioners. More than 700 hospitals in America, alone, have staffs that have been formally trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which originated with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Be Where You Are

A simple way to think of mindfulness is being present.  Hundreds of studies have confirmed that being present helps reduce stress, contribute to healthier relationships, aid self-regulation, decrease stress and aggressive behaviors, help alleviate depression, lower blood pressure, and more.  Sharon Salzberg is one of this country’s earliest teachers of mindfulness meditation.  She, along with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, are credited with bringing mindfulness practice to the west more than 30 years ago.  Salzberg says, “Mindfulness meditation quiets the mind and refines our awareness so we can directly experience the truth of our lives with a minimum of distraction and obscuration. Simplicity, stillness and attention are its qualities.”

Every Day

Try each day to simply stop, bring your mind to the present, and take a deep breath and experience the peace that is naturally a part of us.  Most of us are mind-occupied in two other dimensions – the past, which has already happened and irretrievable, and the future, which has not yet manifested.  Being in the present means you are fully in your life right now, right here.  You’ll find peace, and not stress, if you are truly in the present moment.

7. Being Appreciative (in every situation)

No matter what is happening, bless it.  The surest way out of anger, disappointment, resentment, and any other negative emotion, is to accept the situation for exactly as it is.  My patients always ask me, “Why?  Why did I get cancer?  I don’t understand.”  I tell them, we would use our time better to treat their reality and ensure a healthy and long future by, first, accepting what the truth is.  “You may have cancer, but that does not mean a death sentence – or – that you caused it,” I tell them. Ancient masters of every faith have told us that once we can accept and let go of what we think the reality should be, the closer, in fact, we come to our true nature.

Our true nature is naturally one of harmony.  The spirit within, I believe, is stronger than material events – in our lives or in our bodies. When we tap acceptance, we let go of resentment. When we let go of resentment, we find our true nature.  And when we find our true nature, we find beauty, peace and harmony.

The next thing we find is gratitude.


Patients frequently report to me, that over time when they have meditated, changed their lifestyle and been willing to accept their disease as simply that – a chronic disease that needs their attention and care – they wind up being more peaceful, more vibrant.  In fact, they wind up, usually within months, being able to accept their disease.  Some say they are even grateful that cancer came into their lives: They, themselves, are stronger, more peaceful, which means that their family members, friends, and business associates are also more peaceful around them.

“I would never have discovered who I really am without the cancer,” one patient told me. “I am much more engaged in my life these days,” another said.

What does gratitude have to do with your genes?  Quite simply, a peaceful nature, a thankful nature, corresponds to less stress and less inflammation in the body. Behavioral epigenetics looks at how behaviors affect our genes, and the evidence is in: A calm body and a grateful mind let our body do what it was designed to do – function at optimum capacity.

Write About It

In one study, people were asked to deliver a gratitude letter to someone who had helped them, and, on average, their happiness scores rose 10 percent and depression scores fell.  Other research has pinpointed health benefits such as lower blood pressure and calmer brain activity during or after practicing gratitude.  A notable study in 2008 connected the dots between gratitude and better sleep: “The study is also the first to show that trait gratitude is related to sleep and to explain why this occurs, suggesting future directions for research, and novel clinical implications.”

As the new year unfolds, I hope you feel the peace that “passes all understanding.” We may not be able to explain it, but we do know that it exists and that each of us can take steps that lead to a life of heath, peace, and love.  And for that I am very, very grateful.

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor’s latest book, ‘The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny Through Diet and Lifestyle” will be released in April from Viking and is already listed in Amazon’s Top Sellers.

Preorder Dr Gaynor’s The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle (Available April 2015-Preorder Now)

Replay my interview with Dr Gaynor on Survive and Live WellGetting to the Root Cause of Cancer

Elyn~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Mitchell Gaynor, M.D. is founder and president of Gaynor Integrative Oncology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill College, affiliated with Cornell University and New York Hospital. He has served on the Executive Review Panel at the Department of Defense – Alternative Medicine for Breast Cancer Sector and the Smithsonian Institute’s Symposium on New Frontier in Breast Cancer and the Environment. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer at hospitals, conferences, and universities throughout America and abroad. Learn more:http://www.gaynoroncology.com/about.html
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more, and writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Magazine. Elyn hosts the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. https://elynjacobs.com/about/Tune in to the Survive and Live Well ShowReplay the Survive and Live Well Radio Show ArchivesRead Elyn’s BlogFollow Elyn on FacebookFollow Survive and Live Well on Twitter

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