Monday, October 5, 2009

Dr. Ariel Policano discusses fibroids, infertility, raw foods, and the Women Go Raw Tour

The raw foods movement is on tour with the Women Go Raw headed up by Dr. Ariel Policano, a Naturopathic physician who studied live foods nutrition since meeting Dr. Ann Wigmore in Puerto Rico in 1993.

The Women Go Raw RV tour is a video project designed to document the impact that raw food is having on women's health and women's lives in the U.S. It will document these powerful changes by visiting one-on-one with women across the nation during the entire month of September and listening to their incredible stories. Daily interviews, health tips and food demonstrations will be dispatched through video blogs on the WomenGoRaw website. They will include true stories from inspiring business owners, healers, moms, authors and experts in the field such as Susan Schenck, Angela Elliott, and Angela Stokes.

Dr. Policano's mission is to show people how to keep themselves healthy and disease free and to bring humor and fun into the process. For more information about the Women Go Raw Tour, please visit,

NK: Could you first please tell our readers a bit about your project that you are doing with WomenGoRaw.

Women Go Raw is documenting the impact that raw foods are having on women's lives and women's health issues. For the month of September, I have been traveling via Biodiesel-Solar Powered RV. I have completed 25 interviews as of today, September 19th. These include interviews with Cherie Soria, Ani Phyo, Victoria Boutenko, Terce Englehard of Cafe Gratitude and many more. With each interview, I would say to myself, "That is one of the most amazing women I have ever met in my life!"

What I have noticed is that each woman interviewed looked years younger than their age. They all seemed to be very healthy, at peace, and happy. That isn't to say that I don't expect that these women have bad days or that they are not human. However, it was obvious that they were living their lives in a way that was deeply fulfilling to them. They didn't seem to be struggling with life! Obviously, health is important to these women. They also worked hard to continue to evolve their concept of a healthy diet over time. They changed their diet from heavy, nut based raw foods to a lighter fare that included salads and lots of green foods in the form of green juices, green smoothies, spirulina and chlorella.

NK: I work with a lot of women clients who want to improve their health with diet and exercise and I work with a lot of women who are older in their 40's who want to have children and they feel helpless. I am not a doctor but I do believe in the healing work of Mother Nature so I suggest a raw foods diet, yoga, meditation, a regular herbal cleanse, prayer, I even suggest taking belly dancing classes and pole dancing classes because I know the benefits that it has afforded me and I know that metaphysically its not that women are infertile, its just that there is a blockage. What is your take on infertility and women and how can women increase their chances of having children in their late 30's, 40's and even 50's?

I believe a lot of infertility stems from toxins in the environment which creates a hormonal state called estrogen dominance. This not only puts women at risk for female reproductive cancers, but causes an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. This imbalance is a major cause of infertility. If women follow your instructions, they will have good success in resolving their infertility issues. Here are a few specific suggestions:

- Drink liquids out of glass, not plastic. This will reduce your exposure to plastics that increase estrogen levels
- Eat organic fruits and vegetables. Pesticides also increase harmful estrogen levels.
- Use flax oil daily. I recommend Barlean's Flax Oil.
- Consume hemp seeds and chia seeds as often as possible in salads and smoothies.
- Help your liver, which breaks down the harmful estrogens for us, through a clean diet and regular liver cleanses.

NK: You do a lot of work with women and fibroids? What recommendations do you have for women who have fibroids? Where does fibroids come from and why do you so many women have it?

Lou Corona is a mentor to me. He has eaten a raw, vegan diet for 36 years. He believes that the growth of fibroids is due to an enzyme deficiency. I recommend that women, even on a raw food diet, consume 5 medical-grade enzymes with each meal every day. That may sound like a alot of work, but the benefits are well worth it. What exactly is happening in this instance?

By consuming cooked food over many years, you place a burden on your pancreas to produce all the enzymes necessary for digestion. This challenges the body and leads to the incomplete breakdown and assimilation of food. It also reduces the effective elimination of waste. In naturopathic medical philosophy, we see the fibroids as a build-up of waste. So many women have fibroids because they consume a diet of mostly cooked foods. But there is more to the story as well.

A diet that causes an imbalance of hormones also can cause fibroids to grow. This goes back to estrogen dominance. If a woman consumes very little essential fatty acids, which are the building blocks for health hormones, and lots of processed foods then it is very likely she will end up being "estrogen dominant." Many fibroids are "estrogen sensitive", which means that they grow more easily in the presence of high estrogen levels.

NK: I always feel like if we as a planet do most of the healing work with women, then the whole planet will heal eventually? Why do you focus on working with women? What is your passion behind it?

75% of health care consumers are women. I have found that women, more than men, are interested in taking a proactive approach to their health. However, we are very interested in men and children! Through my own workshops I have discovered that women also bring the information to their partners and their children. So, ultimately everyone benefits and gets the message about raw foods, which is what Women Go Raw would like to see happen.

NK: What's on your plate today?

Is this a food question? If it is, I started my day with watermelon, juiced and then blended with Pure Synergy. Pure Synergy is a powerful greens supplement designed by the herbalist Mitchell May. There is a great blend of healthy greens and antioxidant and adaptogenic herbs in there. In general, these help a person to have sustained energy, cleanse daily, and protect themselves from the harmful effects of toxins.

I then had a nori roll filled with sprouts, raw sauerkraut, avocaodo, and other veggies and a raw dressing. Later some fresh organic raspberries from the local farmer's market here in Ashland. I am staying in Ashland, Oregon for a few days after interviewing Victoria Boutenko.

NK: What are your favorite foods?
My favorite foods are very simple. I love figs, which are really a superfood. They are high in potassium and iron among other things. I enjoy avocados, berries such as raspberries and blackberries, salads that are high in mixed greens, deep greens like lacinato kale (avocado-kale salad is a staple for me).

I do have lots of various types of smoothies, including green smoothies. I consume lots of healthy seeds and oils. These include coconut oil, flax oil, hemp seeds and chia seeds.

NK: How and why did you first start getting into raw and living fodos? What motivated you and what keeps motivating you?

I started consuming raw and living foods after I met Ann Wigmore in 1993. I went down to her institute in Puerto Rico. 2 weeks of all raw foods, including wheatgrass and sprouts, completely changed my life. I was inspired to continue to reseach natural health. I attended a 4-year medical institution for holistic health. What motivates me is that I have seen "miracle cures" with raw foods. I also have never felt better myself than when I consume raw foods. I want to see everyone feeling very healthy and never suffering with diseases like cancer and diabetes. Even putting a small amount of raw foods in your diet can and will make a difference.

What advice do you have for our readers in eating more raw foods? What benefits has it afforded you and what transformational stories have you witness with people?

Be gentle with yourself and go slow. The most important thing is the momentum. Just keep moving towards health. Read books about raw food and raw food recipes and make it fun! Eat lots of variety; try new dishes or a new fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before.

NK: Anything else that you would like to tell our readers, please do so.

Dr.AP: Thanks so much!

Thank you, Nwenna.

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