Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Blog Has a New Home!

Hello! I want to thank you for being loyal followers of this blog, and for all of your comments and posts.

Just a heads up, I moved the blog over to my website. So any NEW blog posts will now ONLY be posted there. Please follow the link below to access and continue to follow this blog:

Thanks again and be well! ~ Dr. Purcell

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Refreshing Tropical Dessert

1 Papaya peeled and seeded
2 Mangoes peeled
1 lime
1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper

Chop papaya and mangoes into ½ inch cubes and place in bowl.
Squeeze juice of 1 lime over mixture, add cayenne pepper, mix and chill for 2 hours before serving.
Serve with small scoop of lemon sorbet.

Note from Dr. P:
Papayas generally come in 2 varieties the Hawaiian, which are smaller, and the Mexican, which are bigger. Either variety works well in this recipe and both are high in Vitamins, A, C, and folate.

Ripe papayas are yellow and orange on the outside and should not be overly soft or have any mold.

**Please note that this is the FINAL blog post on this site. To keep up with future blog posts, CLICK HERE***

Monday, June 3, 2013

Health Alert: Hepatitis Berries

Two local cases of hepatitis A, which are part of a five-state outbreak, have prompted a warning to consumers not to eat Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of frozen berries sold through Costco stores.
The outbreak has been linked to at least 30 cases, including six in California. It is being investigated by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Food and Drug Administration, and the California Department of Public Health.
The two local individuals with hepatitis A both reported eating the frozen berry blend purchased from Costco. The number of cases in San Diego County and in this outbreak may increase, because on average it can take up to 30 days to become ill with hepatitis A after being exposed to the virus.
"If you ate Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berries within the past two weeks and you have never been vaccinated for hepatitis A or had the disease, you should contact your health care provider to discuss hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin," said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., deputy county public health officer.
If you do not have a health care provider, you can contact the County of San Diego's Epidemiology Program at 619-692-8499.
"If you have purchased Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berries, please discard the product," said McDonald.
Costco has removed this product from its shelves, although a formal recall has not yet been issued. FDA is further investigating this product, including testing the berries for the hepatitis A virus.
The risk of contracting hepatitis A from eating these berries is low. If you have ever been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have been diagnosed with hepatitis A in the past, you are considered protected from the disease. The hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin can prevent infection if given within 14 days of exposure.
Signs of hepatitis A appear two to six weeks after exposure. Symptoms commonly include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark urine and jaundice (yellow eyes or skin). It is important if you have these symptoms that you seek medical attention and do not work in food service, health care or child care until you are no longer infectious.
Hepatitis A varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks or longer. The disease can be severe and result in hospitalization. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice and may have mild illness. Even people with mild symptoms should consult a health care provider.
Hepatitis A virus is spread person to person or via contaminated food or beverages. People are at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis A when they have had ongoing close personal contact with an infected person, such as in a household setting.
For more information on hepatitis A, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at and search "hepatitis A".
(Article from

Monday, March 25, 2013

Caring for a Loved One with Cancer

Note from Dr. P:

Caregiving is one of the most stressful jobs that someone can take on. I often see the long term health effects of caregiving on the caregiver only after their loved one has passed on. This is a selfless job that can be extremely intense and depleting. The caregiver selflessly gives of their vital energy and life force to physically and emotionally support their loved one endlessly around the clock. Since most of the focus is on the sick patient, there has been a lack of awareness on the role of caregiver and how support is essential for them to continue on in this role.

The contributor of this blog post, Cameron, reached out to me asking if he could share his story with all of you.  His goal is to increase awareness and let caregivers know that they are not alone. It just goes to show that in every storm cloud there is a sliver lining to be found.

 -Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic

Dr. Purcell

Caring For a Loved One With Cancer

By: Cameron Von St. James

I will never forget the events of November 21, 2005. That was the day my wife Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I had never been a caregiver before, and I felt woefully unprepared for my new role. A few months before the cancer diagnosis, our daughter Lily was born. Instead of spending the next few months celebrating our first holiday season together, we would have to face one difficult challenge after another.

I experienced the responsibility that comes with being a caregiver almost immediately. After the diagnosis, our doctor told us that we had three treatment options. We could receive care at the local university hospital, a regional hospital, or a mesothelioma specialist in Boston. My wife sat silently, her expression revealing her feelings of helplessness. I knew she needed help, and I told the doctor that we would go to Boston to seek the best treatment option available. I could only pray that there was someone there who would be able to help my wife.

Over the next two months, our lives were torn apart. Heather had to quit her job, and I could only manage to work part time. When I wasn't working, I was taking care of our baby, planning trips to Boston, and going with my wife to her doctor's appointments. On top of my busy schedule, I felt overwhelmed with fear that Heather would not survive her illness. Though I stayed strong in front of her, I was terrified that I would end up with no wife, no money, and a young daughter to care for all on my own.

My wife and I will never forget the aid we received from friends, family, and strangers during the most taxing time of our lives. Caring for someone with cancer is physically and emotionally draining, and our loving support network was one of the main things that helped me through it. With their help, I was able to maintain control over the negative emotions that I felt on a regular basis. No one can be perfect during something as difficult as cancer, but staying hopeful is crucial.

Over the next few months, Heather underwent a grueling round of treatments for mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  It was difficult on her, and on our whole family while she suffered through it.  However, in the end it paid off.  Heather was able to defy the odds and beat this terrible form of cancer.

Today, Heather is healthy and cancer free. My experiences during her treatment taught me to stay resolute under even the worst of circumstances. They also reminded me that our time on this earth is valuable. I went back to school two years after her diagnosis.  My time as a caregiver gave me the strength and the courage to pursue this dream of mine. It also gave me the skills to be successful, and I graduated with high honors a few years later, even being offered the opportunity to be the student speaker at graduation. During my speech, I explained that I had no idea five years earlier that I would end up there, a college graduate with a happy family. Within each of us is the strength to accomplish incredible things, if we only just believe in ourselves and never give up hope for a better tomorrow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Breast Health Diet

As we leave October, the official month of breast cancer awareness, I am struck by the walks, and runs, and the amazing emotional support that I see amongst women and families as we rally to fight this devastating disease.

As I look closely at it all, I can see that there is a very important piece missing. Unlike many things in life that are out of our control, this piece is one part to this very confusing puzzle that we can control, it’s the lifestyle piece.   

Lifestyle is a broad term that encompasses they way we eat, what we drink, exercise, mental and emotional health, stress, and how we respond to what life gives us. When the lifestyle piece is lacking it can contribute to the nutritional deficiencies and inflammation that are known to cause cancer. Additionally, a deficient lifestyle can negatively influence genetics and encourage an unwanted genetic change to occur.

What causes Cancer?

Cancer is caused by a myriad of factors including diet, lifestyle, nutritional status, stress, mental emotional stressors, genetic predisposition, inflammation, environment, and some factors mysterious. This has resulted in the cure for cancer to be elusive and out of reach. This has left many feeling powerless over the disease. 

We are not powerless! We have more power within us and through our choices than we give credit to. First comes education, and then comes prevention. I am passionate about patient education. With a deeper understanding of the details we can make lasting choices that positively impact health. Prevention is the best way to maintain health.

7 Principles of the Breast Health Diet

This is the overall premise of the principles and should be the internal mantra of every woman. This is the foundation of health.

*Let food be my Medicine and Medicine be my food
*Without proper diet no medicine will work, with proper diet no medicine is necessary.
*Of the 200,000 cases of breast cancer that are diagnosed each year, 1/3 can be prevented by lifestyle changes.

1) Whole foods with lots of FIBER prevent cancer.
Every single time we eat our body is panning for gold, looking for the particular mineral or antioxidant that it needs to function optimally.

A whole food diet consists of:
*Fruits and Vegetables
*Plant based foods high in Vitamins, Minerals, Anti-oxidants, Lignans and Fiber. Whole foods are high in fiber that helps to pull toxins and environmental estrogens out of our digestive system before they become recycled and detrimental. The standard American diet provides15 grams of fiber per day, 30 grams is recommended.
*Minimal processing, packaging, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
*Eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in all colors daily. This lowers breast cancer risk by 46%.

2) Green Tea: Trade coffee for Green tea. Many studies have been published on the anti-cancer effects of green tea. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and will promote cancer cell death.

Women who drink tea lowered their risk of developing breast cancer by 12%.

3) Cruciferous vegetables assist in detoxification through the liver.
(Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, turnip, horseradish, radish, kale, arugula, collards.) 

*These shut off key enzymes for breast cancer growth.
*Down regulate estrogen receptors
*Prevent tumors from invading and spreading

4) Exercise 30 minutes 3x/week reduces breast cancer risk by 30-50%.
Eliminating toxins by sweating, increasing circulation, improving blood flow, decreasing stagnation and enhancing lymphatic flow.

5) Walnuts: These natural marvels are a better choice than chips. They are high in omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and phytosterols, shown to slow the growth of breast tumors.

6) Vitamin D3 – proper levels of Vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 30%. Supplementing with 1,000-2,000iu daily is beneficial until you go to the doctor and get a recommendation based on your specific needs. (CLICK HERE to order)

7) Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid – are essential for healthy cell division and ensuring proper DNA messaging without mutation. Folic acid is available through vegetables and supplementation; Vitamin B12 is only available through red meat consumption and supplementation. The active form of B12 is methylcobalamin and the active form of folic acid is called 5-MTHF. (CLICK HERE to order)

-Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic


Andrea Purcell, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and author of the Best Selling Book, Feed Your Cells! She can be reached by visiting or on Facebook!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Liver Fat is a Serious Health Risk

 Fat deposits can accumulate inside the liver ducts and block the inflow of nutrients to liver cells and simultaneously block the outflow of toxins from liver cells. This leads to a condition called fatty liver.

In the past, fatty liver was seen in alcoholics with end-stage cirrhosis and liver disease. Now it is commonplace to see the non-alcoholic fatty liver, (NAFL), variety in one out of every three American adults. Non-alcoholic fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. NAFL is common, often causes no signs and symptoms, and no complications, until it is advanced. In advanced stages there is liver inflammation and death of liver cells.

Let’s take a closer look to find out more…

Studies show that 1/3 of all Americans have imbalanced fat metabolism in the liver. Fatty liver is rarely discussed in conventional medical offices as a problem and even less in the media. Yet, the problem is epidemic. The accumulation of fat inside the liver can cause liver inflammation and decrease function. This occurs when the liver is overburdened with substances from diet or the environment, affecting its ability to efficiently detoxify itself.

Naturopathic Integrative Treatment of Fatty Liver:

Enhancing liver health requires a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole unprocessed food. Real, whole, organic foods from plants provide crucial compounds that assist the liver in detoxification and regeneration. Specifically, beets, artichokes, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables are the best at liver detoxification. Consumption of beets helps reduce fat deposits in the liver, and artichokes stimulate bile flow and are protective to liver cells. Certain herbs and nutrients can also promote liver health, including milk thistle, lecithin, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, and vitamin B1 and B12.

Beneficial Lifestyle Modifications Include:
*Sustained Weight loss  - with a reduction of abdominal fat
*Consistent Exercise – 20-30 minutes daily
*Proper fasting glucose levels <100mg dl="dl" span="span">
*Reduction of triglycerides
*Reduction of insulin resistance.

Note from Dr. P:
The liver is vital to good health and has many important jobs.  Poor liver health can compromise the gall bladder resulting in gall bladder disease. Dietary and lifestyle modifications can greatly improve the function of the liver and decrease the occurrence of fatty liver. When liver cells turn to fat they are no longer functioning liver cells. If more cells die and turn to fat than cells that are functioning, the liver fails. This is a very serious and life threatening condition. Certain herbs and nutrients can help promote healthy detoxification and function of the liver.

Your cost $112 (normally a $140 value)
It's time to get started and let the healing begin. I have assembled a package of supplements specifically designed to help strengthen your digestive system and promote healthy bile formation and stone emulsification.
I have selected the highest quality supplements to enhance your healing process. Over the last 14 years I have been researching, sampling and combining products into treatment regimens from the best and most trusted nutraceutical companies in the world. I've done this for one reason, to find what works and provide the absolute best products for our patients and our customers. I consider it my responsibility to provide you with the best formulas from the best companies. It is important to me that the products do what they claim. The companies I work with all respect their customer through extraordinary commitment to product quality. From these companies you can be assured that what the label states is what the product contains. If I wouldn't recommend these products to my family, then I won't recommend it to you.
When you purchase this Liver/Gall Bladder Kit you will receive dosing recommendations to maximize the healing process. I have done my very best to ensure that every single product is contained within a vegetarian capsule and is free of allergens. Get started today! ORDER HERE
Contraindications: If you are pregnant or lactating, please visit a Naturopathic Doctor who can put together a pregnancy safe program specifically for you.

-Be healthy, happy and holistic

 Andrea Purcell, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and author of the Best Selling Book, Feed Your Cells! She can be reached by visiting or on Facebook!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kale Mallum – A Dish From Sri Lanka

I was introduced to this dish from a Naturopathic Colleague of mine who had just returned from eating, in his words, “The best kale dish of my life, it was like a coconut dream.” That certainly peaked my attention and got me digging around in my fridge eager to try a new variation on kale.

Kale, the beloved super green that has amazing anti-oxidant potential and has been shown to protect against five different types of cancers in multiple studies.  High in beta-carotene, vitamin K and C, lutein, antioxidants and rich in calcium. The best part is this dish is so simple with 5 ingredients and uses no oil. It is ready to go in 10 minutes.

1 bunch of kale – washed and large stems trimmed, then chopped very small with a knife or put into a food processor.
½ yellow onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tsp. turmeric - dried (optional)
¼ Cup Coconut, unsweetened
Sea Salt to taste

Directions: This is a dry dish so try not to add too much liquid, you can always add more if needed.
In a sauce-pan on medium heat add unsweetened coconut and toast until light brown about 5-7 minutes.
Pour coconut into bowl and set aside.
Add onion and garlic to pre-heated sauce-pan and 2 tablespoons of water, sauté for 2-3 minutes, and stir in turmeric.
Add chopped kale to sauce pan with 2 more tablespoons of water and cover, steam for 3 minutes until kale is bright green.
Remove lid and stir in toasted coconut, add sea salt to taste.

Note from Dr. P:
This yummy kale dish can be paired with meat, beans, tofu, rice or quinoa, for a delicious meal. This dish is good on taste and extremely high in nutrition. You will be able to eat a lot of kale without realizing that it’s almost gone. Hooray for Kale Mallum!

Andrea Purcell, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and author of the Best Selling Book, Feed Your Cells! She can be reached by visiting or on Facebook!

About Me

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Dr. Purcell received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and her  B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Purcell is licensed as a primary care physician who specializes in Natural and Alternative Medicine in the states of California and Arizona. She can effectively wean patients down off medications when they are no longer needed. As a metabolic anti-aging specialist and a nutrition expert, Dr. Purcell understands the role of nutrition, hormones and health.

Dr. Purcell is a certified practitioner of the Blood-type diet, the Wiley Protocol, Oxygen Therapy, and  is a certified practitioner of Wilsons Temperature Syndrome Thyroid Protocol. It is common to see women struggle with a thyroid problem for years that has been misdiagnosed. In fact, low thyroid function is one of the main contributors to weight gain and fatigue. Women will complain of "just not feeling right" yet they have not been able to find an answer ... until now.

Dr. Purcell specializes in natural medicine for Women and their families. The scope of her practice includes: Women’s health, weight management, hormone balancing, hormone replacement therapy, detoxification, halting and reversing chronic disease, anti-aging and preventative medicine. Member Of The Following Medical Associations