Archive | October, 2013

10 Most Cancer Causing Foods

23 Oct


The truth is that many common food items have been scientifically shown to increase cancer risk, and some of them substantially. Here are 10 of the most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods that you should never eat again:


1) Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)


It goes without saying that GMOs have no legitimate place in any cancer-free diet, especially now that both GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them have been shown to cause rapid tumor growth. But GMOs are everywhere, including in most food derivatives made from conventional corn, soybeans, and canola. However, you can avoid them by sticking with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified, and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology.

2) Processed meats

Most processed meat products, including lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, contain chemical preservatives that make them appear fresh and appealing, but that can also cause cancer. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to significantly increasing the risk of colon and other forms of cancer, so be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources.

3) Microwave popcorn

They might be convenient, but those bags of microwave popcorn are lined with chemicals that are linked to causing not only infertility but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in microwave popcorn bag linings as “likely” carcinogenic, and several independent studies have linked the chemical to causing tumors. Similarly, the diacetyl chemical used in the popcorn itself is linked to causing both lung damage and cancer.

4) Soda pop

Like processed meats, soda pop has been shown to cause cancer as well. Loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and colorings, soda pop acidifies the body and literally feeds cancer cells. Common soda pop chemicals like caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have also specifically been linked to causing cancer.

5) ‘Diet’ foods, beverages

Even worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda pop, though, is “diet” soda pop and various other diet beverages and foods. A recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of more than 20 separate research studies found that aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, causes a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose (Splenda), saccharin and various other artificial sweeteners have also been linked to causing cancer.

6) Refined ‘white’ flours

Refined flour is a common ingredient in processed foods, but its excess carbohydrate content is a serious cause for concern. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention found that regular consumption of refined carbohydrates was linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women. High-glycemic foods in general have also been shown to rapidly raise blood sugar levels in the body, which directly feeds cancer cell growth and spread.

7) Refined sugars

The same goes for refined sugars, which tend to rapidly spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells. Fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are particularly offensive, as cancer cells have been shown to quickly and easily metabolize them in order to proliferate. And since cookies, cakes, pies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with HFCS and other refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days.

8) Conventional apples, grapes, and other ‘dirty’ fruits

Many people think they are eating healthy when they buy apples, grapes, or strawberries from the store. But unless these fruits are organic or verified to be pesticide-free, they could be a major cancer risk. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that up to 98 percent of all conventional produce, and particularly the type found on its “dirty” fruits list, is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides.

9) Farmed salmon

Farmed salmon is another high-risk cancer food, according to Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. According to his assessment, farmed salmon not only lacks vitamin D, but it is often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), flame retardants, pesticides, and antibiotics.

10) Hydrogenated oils

They are commonly used to preserve processed foods and keep them shelf-stable. But hydrogenated oils alter the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, which can lead to a host of debilitating diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are phasing out the use of hydrogenated oils and replacing them with palm oil and other safer alternatives, but trans fats are still widely used in processed foods.

Xuxa- Segura o Tchan

23 Oct

So much going on here. Xuxa’s crazy dance moves. The 90’s hip hop dance moves. The sexy backup dancers with the booties- and I’m talking about the men and women. Xuxa’s crazy smile. Xuxa’s crazy dance moves. The lack of clothes on this CHILDREN’S TV SHOW. The Reebok high tops. The little person/elf. Xuxa’s scary military uniform…..This is Zumba circa 1990.  My favorite is Xuxa at 1:42


Ruby’s OC Weekly article

9 Oct

I knew many parts of her youth, but I never knew her whole story. This is Ruby’s story :




Ruby Castellanos Experiences the Healing Power of Trova

By Gabriel San Roman Thu., Sep. 26 2013 at 4:00 AM

When Ruby Castellanos’ older sister, already suffering from diabetes, suddenly died of a heart attack at the tender age of 13, it set the singer on a path toward music as medicine. In the wake of the tragedy, her mother, by then a single parent, decided to quit her factory job of 15 years and the long work commutes from Riverside to Newport Beach in order to spend more time with her children. That meant selling off the family home and traveling through Mexico. “When all this happened, it was a big eye-opener on how fragile life is,” Castellanos says. “My mother didn’t even hesitate in selling everything and going off and buying a motor home.”

The Santa Ana-based singer was around 10 years old when her mother took the family on a two-year vagabond journey through Mexico, finally settling in Aculco, a provincial town a few hours away from the nation’s capital. Music was deeply woven into the social fabric of the small, colonial locale. It wasn’t long before Castellanos wanted to learn how to play instruments herself.

“My friend’s brother started teaching me because he knew I had an interest. I didn’t even own a guitar then,” she says. “He would let me borrow a requinto, and those strings hurt!” After a fear-conquering singing debut at a quinceañera, Castellanos became a performing musician.

She returned stateside at age 17, and in 2006, she co-founded Taller Sur, an OC-based trova group well-versed in the stringed sounds of Latin America. The outfit released a self-titled album and toured through California and Northern Mexico. A follow-up was always planned, but it never materialized, leading Castellanos to pursue a solo effort two years ago. “I was thinking of doing something really simple, just guitar and voice, something I could sell at shows,” she says.

Now, the statuesque singer is on the cusp of realizing that vision with Todo Sana, which translates to “Everything Heals.” The collection of five Spanish-language songs was produced in the home studio of longtime friend Efrén Luna and is similar to Castellanos’ previous work, but imbued with a different sentiment. “In Taller Sur, the songs were very melancholic,” she explains. “When I wrote these new songs, I was really searching to find a sense of hope, of telling a story of how through music, I’ve healed, coped and been able to process life without such a dark or saddening kind of feeling.”

Her solo effort intertwines with her work in the community. The music video for the Andean-folk-flavored “Niña” was released in conjunction with the opening ceremony of the Latino Health Access-initiated Green Heart Families Park earlier this summer in Santa Ana, a notoriously park-poor city. Another offering, which shares the title of her new EP, “Todo Sana,” came to Castellanos via Mexican singer/songwriter Armando Quirós, who thought it’d be perfect for her to voice. The song deals with domestic violence, an issue she deals with daily at her job with the Family Resource Center in Santa Ana.

On other songs, the focus is purely internal. The viola accentuates “Venir Aquí,” while La Santa Cecilia’s Miguel “Oso” Ramirez handles percussion duties. “It is a part of healing, too, finding someone that awakens certain feelings in you. I wrote a passionate song! I’m not so sure if it was love. It’s a little bit of alburera,” Castellanos says of the Mexican practice of double-entendres with sexual undertones.

The effort was reflective of the transformation entailed in the recording process. “I was going through a lot of difficult moments emotionally. I had gone through a relationship in which I had been with somebody musically and emotionally for many years. Just writing the songs was very therapeutic,” she says on the eve of Todo Sana’s release.

“I feel like I’m a very free person now,” she says, “somebody who sings, ‘Venir aquí, venir aquí . . .'”

Ruby’s performance

7 Oct

I can’t believe that last week, I performed on a real stage with so many incredibly talented musicians. About 6 years ago, I went to see an all girl band called Mystery Hangup. I didn’t like their songs, but I enjoyed the talent of their drummer and deep voiced singer, Lux, and Cat Mendez respectively. Lux went on to become a youtube legend for her drumming videos where she wears stillettos and covers some of the hardest heavy metal songs that exist. Cat decided to form a locally critically acclaimed band, Aparato with guitarist extraordinairre El Teja-rocho. El Tejarocho is a classically trained guitarist who also has a PhD and is a guest lecturer in several cities in the US. Two years ago they were nominated for an OC Music Award along with Taller Sur, but lost to Nancy Sanchez, a jazz singer.

Fast forward to 2013. Cat decides to record a solo CD. Her guest musicians range from bassist, Moises, formerly from Los Abandoned/Pilar Diaz, El Tejarocho, Miles Davis, another critically acclaimed musician that plays at many jazz clubs in LA and OC. Her CD is being produced by someone who has a Grammy under his belt.

Also in 2013, Fadia Mosri records her solo CD after leaving Taller Sur. She hires a producer nicknamed, El Bife, to help her with her work. He has produced songs for Marco Antonio Solis, Beatriz Adriana, Ana Barbara, Conjunto Primavera… you get the picture. Naturally, Fadia’s songs are awesome especially with the help of El Bife.

In 2011, Ruby begins to record her CD as well. With limited funding and a CD that evolved over the course of 2 years, Ruby finalized her first solo EP. Her 5 songs are mostly positive and one is quite frankly about being a little too, um, passionate with yourself. The best part about Ruby is that her CD was produced and recorded with her friends at a home recording studio. No fancy gimmicks. No big recording studio. Just Ruby and friends. I remember in 2011 that Ruby asked to borrow my violin because her sound engineer needed one to record a violin solo. I went with Ruby to the hills of Lincoln Heights to a tiny backhouse where the recording took place- in the hallway of the backhouse that was the size of a phone booth. The sound room? A room so small that her friend, Efrén, put his bed up against the wall so we could have a place to sit.

Fast forward to 2013, September. Ruby asks me to play viola for the self- loving song “Venir Aquí”. Oh crap. I haven’t played viola in 6 years much less play it in front of an audience as the star instrument of the song. I got the sheet music and realized that, yes, yes I can actually play this song. I had such a short amount of time to practice that I couldn’t quite get the song sounding the way I wanted it to, but I went for it because Ruby needed me to do so. Plus I thought it would be nice to be on stage with Ruby for her big day. I attended a few rehearsals with her charismatic, playful and truly talented band before the performance.

Last week, it finally happened. The CD release party for Cat, Fadia and Ruby took place. I couldn’t believe my eyes before the show even started. All the people that I have mentioned in this post (except Marco Antonio Solis and them) were there including some guest artists for Cat that included members of LA based Las Cafeteras and Son Del Centro. Add to that, about 4-5 professional photographers that really made it feel like the paparazzi wouldn’t leave me alone. Maybe it was my bright Dodger blue and black dress or my stunning sexiness, but photographers were snapping pictures of me left and right. I can’t wait to see the picture of El Bife, Fadia, Ruby and myself waiting for Ruby to go on stage.


What did I do to be on stage with so much talent? I couldn’t even make it to the Chapman orchestra and here I was on stage with all these people. 

With all these exciting emotions running through me, I got a great case of stage fright right before the one song that I performed with Ruby. I’ve never been the featured performer for a song. My right hand started to shake as I went on stage. Crap. I went on stage and totally missed my first few notes during the opening which is also a solo for me. Big Crap. I recovered though and kept going. The song features the viola, but also relies on a key violin solo done by Efrén. During the first verse, the audience began to clap during my solo, Then during the intensly passionate violin solo the audience began to clap and cheer. At the end, the audience went wild. Phew! What a beautiful experience that was!

Afterwards, Ruby thanked everyone and said, “Ha! Take that Quetzal now we have a violin and viola just like you.” 🙂 🙂 I don’t think I’m ever going to forget this experience especially because the people involved were so positive and relaxed. Plus I wanted to thank my Friendship for being there and being my family in the audience. Thanks Friend.

Quetzal and Aloe Blacc

7 Oct

Quetzal performed live on the ALMA awards recently. They performed an acoustic version of the EDM/techno/dub step song “Wake Me Up” by Avicci with Aloe Blacc. Quetzal performed with Aloe Blacc with a jarana, string quartet and visually cued performance on live tv. Wow. The performance was energy filled and almost flawless. Martha was smiling, engaging the viewer with her body movements and positive energy. The string quartet was also smiling and simply relaxed having a great time being on a live awards show.

Every time I see them perform, I fall more in love with them (hearts hearts) lol