Woodford Files: On Death, Disease, Recovery – and Pumpkin Soup

I always look forward to the fall season with its harvest festivals and cool, crisp weather. But this year we greet the season with heavy hearts as we say goodbye to two beloved members of the health community. On July 21st, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez died unexpectedly in his home in New York City, sending shock waves around the world. This month we carry an In Memoriam piece by Helke Ferrie, in which she describes him as “one of the greatest doctors in the history of Western medicine because of his pioneering work in successful cancer treatment.” Having saved many thousands of lives with his novel cure for pancreatic cancer, Dr. Gonzalez has earned a place in the history books. I came to know him personally when he lectured at Whole Life Expo in 2010, and I became acquainted with his research on the clinical use of enzymes after spending many hours editing the video that was made of his lecture. I was so impressed by his work that I started taking digestive enzymes with every meal, and still do so to this day, knowing that pancreatic weakness runs in my family. So he definitely touched my life, along with the lives of many others.

No less shocking was the death of Steve Meyerowitz on September 9th in a car accident. Fondly known as ‘The Sproutman’ by his many admirers, Steve’s passion for sprouts developed after he cured his allergies and asthma with a living foods vegetarian diet. This month, Maree and Dennis of Upaya Naturals have written a touching piece about how they came to work with Meyerowitz on educating and empowering people to adopt a healthier lifestyle. He was an inspiration to everyone around him. I personally was impressed by his ‘kitchen gardening’ technique that allows one to grow fresh greens all year round in any kitchen (see Steve’s excellent how-to article posted at: http://tinyurl.com/ofynwqg). To lose someone so full of joie de vivre is a real tragedy, and yet he lives on in his books and teachings. Thank you Steve!!

In other news, we are honoured to have two powerhouse nutritionists sharing their kitchen wisdom this month. In her article on Digestive Healing, Meghan Telpner shares her story of recovery from Crohn’s Disease by tuning in to her authentic needs, both physically and emotionally. Out of that transformative experience came a new diet (well, an UnDiet) and a new business. As well, Marni Wasserman shares her favourite Warming Herbs and Spices for Fall, where we are reminded of the medi-cinal properties and culinary uses of popular plants such as oregano, basil, and one of my favourites – sage.

This month marks our 26th year of publishing Vitality, and our commitment to uncovering nature’s healing power is as strong now as when we launched in 1989. With the abysmal track record of Western medicine in healing chronic disease, it becomes ever more important that we continue to arm ourselves with the best information available on natural approaches to self health care. Thank you for joining us on the journey.

It’s Pumpkin Season!

By the way, if you’re smacking your lips over that Pumpkin Soup photo on our cover, here’s the recipe, which was featured in the Pay Young article, ‘Veggie Thanksgiving’, originally published in October 2008 (see http://tinyurl. com/q3tuc4y). Adapted from the Apple a Day Cookbook by Janet Reeves (Ragweed Press; PEI)

Creamy Apple and Pumpkin Soup (Serves 4)
• 2 Tbsp olive oil       • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
• 1 large apple, cored and chopped
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 cups pumpkin, cooked and sieved
• 2 cups vegetable broth    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp salt        • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp pepper
• 1 cup light cream or half ’n half (or almond milk or coconut milk)

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, dissolve brown sugar in the oil. Add apple and onion. Cook gently until onion is soft. Stir in pumpkin, vegetable broth, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to a boil. Boil gently until apples are tender. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Pour about 1 cup at a time into blender container and whirl until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in cream, and warm over low heat to serve. Enjoy! ~ Julia Woodford