The Labrys Speaks

Fall Equinox 2018 Newsletter

Self-Healing: Natural. Nurturing. Nourishing.

Table of Contents

1. Greetings from Labrys Healthcare Circle!
2. Immune System Renewal This Winter With Bravo Yogurt
3. Book Review: The Case Against Sugar by Laura Knoff
4. Ketogenic Diet by Joan Margaret
5. 10 Steps to Break Your Sugar Addiction
6. Balancing Marijuana and Blood Sugar by Kristi Matthews
7. Fat Picks Recipe
8. The Many Names for Sugar
9. Biography of a goddess: Laura Knoff
10. Biography of a goddess: Joan Margaret

 Fall Equinox 2018

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the 2nd digital version of The Labrys Speaks, a print newsletter we started some 23 years ago. Our intention is to publish this femail newsletter regularly, four or more times a year, to keep our community abreast of health tips, nutritional recipes, latest research information on alternatives to Western medicine, and updates on what we are up to. Click here for a few samples from the archive. You can forward this to a friend to Subscribe.

Special Holiday Hours: 
Closed November 22 & 23 for Thanks & Giving!
Open November 24 10-4
Closed December 25 for Yule Celebrations!
Closed January 1st for New Year's Greetings!

Immune System Renewal This Winter With Bravo Yogurt
by Joan Margaret, DC
This medicinal food turns on the immune system like nothing I’ve seen before.  It’s not regular yogurt that you eat with fruit for a snack.  It contains colostrum and specific probiotic bacteria.  This is what we received if breast fed as a baby, which I was not.  Others are lacking a full immune function due to birth by caesarian section or during our lives having taken either drug or herbal antibiotics.  No doubt we all need to restart our microbiome and our immune system.
There are many diseases that respond well to this therapy, including cancer and autism.  GcMAF is the protein we make naturally and that viruses destroy, hence disabling our production of macrophage white blood cells and 11 other immune functions. See the youtube lectures from the GcMAF conference in Moscow, 2017.  When we take the yogurt daily, our immune system begins to make GcMAF again.  Simple.
Without macrophages, our ability to fight against bacteria, candida, fungus, molds, parasites and viruses is diminished and then gone.  This is how we get sick and die, slowly, throughout our lifetimes.  It’s not “aging" causing us to lack energy and be depressed or anxious; it’s poor immune function!
Dosage is important:  start with 1/4 tsp. and slowly work up to 2 tbsp. twice a day, which takes a couple weeks for some of us, and 5 months for others.  It’s powerful and initiates a detoxification process, hence:  go slow.
At the website
 I suggest you buy the already made yogurt, 1/2 liter of goat milk, or cow milk if the goat is unavailable this season.  Try it and see if you like the effects on your body and mind.  Buying from Florida it costs $72 plus cold shipping.  Or if you are sure you will be able to follow through on making it from raw milk at home, buy the starter kit, $119 for a 3-pack.  I started with a month of their prepared yogurt, then had the new energy to make it myself from the starter kit using raw goat milk from the El Cerrito Natural Grocery; raw milk is also available from Three-Stone Hearth on University Avenue in Berkeley.  
Marcey Shapiro, MD, is another proponent of Bravo Yogurt.  She is buying starter kits in bulk from Bravo Co-op and sells them in her office.  She has kindly said she’ll sell to my patients/friends to provide a local source for us.  However, none of us is making it in her kitchen and offering it for sale.  Dr. Shapiro’s office is located at 1152 A Solano Avenue, Albany, CA  94706; femail:; phone: (510) 525-2200; open MWTh 10-6, TuF 11-5.  The office is in the second block east of San Pablo on the south side of the street. Tell Perla or Jane, Joan Margaret, DC, sent you.

Laura Knoff's book review, The Case Against Sugar, by Gary Taube


Have you ever wondered if sugar is really that bad for your health? Do you think that if it were really that bad it would be banned or regulated? In his latest book, The Case Against Sugar, Gary Taubes dives deeply into how the food industry have manipulated our consumption of sugar and high fructose corn syrup at the expense of the health of the world. Taubes describes what some of us have known for years: that sugar undermines our health at all levels. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Sugar activates fat storage and induces weight gain like no other food.
  • Sugar causes tooth decay. 
  • Sugar increases appetite.
  • Sugar is addictive.
  • Sugar is added to tobacco to enhance the nicotine delivery and make them more addictive.
  • Sugar is implicated in all chronic disease.
  • Sugar not only feeds cancer cells but also increases the risk of cancer.
  • Sugar is toxic.

All in all sugar may be the worst additive to our food supply ever. The research is consistent, but it has been suppressed by Big Sugar.  If you need more reasons to eliminate sugar from your diet read the book and eliminate sugar from your diet completely for a month. You may find that your health has improved in many ways. It may seem impossible, and unless you give it a try you will never know how much better you can feel. To learn how to break the addiction, contact us.

Ketogenic Diet
By Dr. Joan Margaret


When I had to take time off last year to attend to my own health, I discovered that the best remedy for cancer is the ketogenic diet.  Within a couple of weeks I had transitioned to ketosis, which is the state of using fat instead of sugar for producing energy in every cell.  So, what is it and how does it work?

Every cell in your body can make energy from sugar, called blood glucose.  Every human cell can also use fat, in the form of ketones when in the blood.  But cancer cells cannot use ketones to sustain themselves.  And herein lies a strategy:  starve the cancer cells of their fuel, which is the glucose in your blood.  Do this by drastically cutting your sugar consumption,and limiting fruits to berries and green apples.

The opposite is also true: when you eat sugar and sweet fruits, you are feeding cancer cells, as well as feeding viruses, bacteria and fungus.  And you are preventing your immune system from fully protecting you.

However, if you increase your dietary fat and do not severely reduce your carb consumption, you will not achieve ketosis and you will gain weight.  A key to success is to reduce your carbohydrates to 20 grams/day while increasing fats and oils.  My favorite fat is organic ghee (clarified butter -- all milk solids have been removed), as well as unrefined coconut oil (for cooking) and extra virgin olive oil.

Another key to achieving ketosis is intermittent fasting. Start by fasting 12 hours overnight, then increase it to 16 hours, giving you 8 hours in which to eat.

Dr. Joseph Mercola,, offers good explanations in his recipes for the ketogenic diet and important details of tailoring your foods to your individual health situation.

For those of us who prefer to read a book, I recommend Nora Gedgaudas' Primal Fat Burner.  The subtitle says it all:  Live longer, slow aging, super-power your brain, and save your life with a high-fat, low-carb paleo diet.

“Glucose burns hot and fast.  It plays an important evolutionary role as our version of rocket fuel – a short term, quick-burning fuel that is meant to exist as an auxiliary to fat energy.  It exists as a reserve fuel that can kick in during an emergency. … After it enters your blood stream, whatever is not burned immediately gets stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen, serving as a backup so that when you really need it you don’t fall short.  Strange as it may sound, the amount of glucose your body truly needs is actually minute -- … and your body can readily make it on its own, without consuming carbs!”   (Gedgaudas, 2017, p52)

Living in ketosis is now my new normal.  No more sugar, no more cancer.

Order this book at

10 Steps to Break Your Sugar Addiction 

1. Add 3 oz high quality organic or pasture raised meat and wild fish and their naturally occurring fats to every meal, especially breakfast.

2. Add some form of skilled relaxation to reduce the stress that leads to excessive cravings and sugar consumption.

3. Add trace minerals by adding seaweed to the diet. Chromium, a trace mineral, is needed to turn your calories into energy.

4. Reduce sugary or sweetened foods slowly. Start with sweetened beverages and desserts.

5. Replace sugar sweetened products with naturally sweet foods such as fruit, yams, or use small amounts of green leaf stevia powder instead of sugar.

6. Look for hidden sugar in products (read the ingredient labels) and eliminate these products. Remember to replace them with whole foods that do not have sugar added.

7. Eliminate caffeinated beverages and chocolate (even the extra dark varieties). Caffeine can increase blood sugar and insulin, resulting in greater cravings.

8. Eliminate temptation. Go through your home and work place and throw out foods with sweeteners in them. They are not real food and you know where they are stored. Out of sight may not mean out of mind when cravings strike.

9. Reduce naturally sweet foods once you have added the healthy foods and are generally feeling better. Continue to add healthy proteins, fats and vegetables, but restrict fruit to dark colored unsweetened fresh berries.

10. Eliminate all sweet foods for 30 days. Join a support group or sign a behavior change contract to help you succeed.

The purpose of the 30 day no-sugar challenge is to reset your sweet tooth (actually your taste buds) and your insulin levels so that you will eliminate your cravings for sweets. This allows you to taste the sweetness in foods that previously did not taste sweet to you. After a few days you may have withdrawal symptoms. These should be minimal and will go away within a few days if you have followed the previous steps carefully. After the 30 days abstinence you may feel so good that you continue to avoid foods with added sweeteners. In any case you will not be controlled by your cravings. You will be able to consciously decide if you want to regularly include fruit or other naturally sweet foods in your diet. Please note that your cravings will reappear if you again consume refined sugars or artificially sweetened products or overindulge in naturally sweet foods. Enjoy your freedom from sugar addiction.

Balancing Marijuana and Blood Sugar

by Kristi Matthews, office goddess
In my experience working on my health with Dr. Joan Margaret I’ve addressed several aspects of blood sugar balancing:  prediabetes (also known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X), hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, as well as allergies and sensitivities.  I’ve dealt successfully with all of these while using marijuana as a remedy on a regular basis.  However, I have found that there are side-effects to using this remedy, and I’ve adjusted my life to balancing marijuana and blood sugar. 
Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, because the effects of marijuana promote relaxation, which includes relaxing my mind and willpower.  Consequently I feel that I don’t have to monitor what I eat.  However, life lessons apply at all times, and I select my options to snack very carefully now so I do not stray from my safe food habits.  This enables me to appreciate the beneficial aspects of using marijuana as I focus on reducing the difficulties that come with smoking pot.
My own weight loss or gain can be affected if I don’t prepare ahead for the “munchies.”  One of the more common side effects of marijuana use is becoming hungry, commonly referred to as “the munchies,” the result of a mechanism of insulin resistance.  Over time, the repeated action of invoking the munchies can lead to a higher propensity for insulin resistance and very likely drive me closer to type 2 diabetes. 

When I use marijuana it is sacred time for me. I create healthy snacks, like Fat Picks, kale chips, cole slaw and other home-made items to satisfy my hunger and maintain optimal gut performance.  I think ahead, cook good foods, pick out a movie, draw a hot bath, play with my cat and enjoy my remedy time.
Hidden toxins may enter my bloodstream depending upon the source and processing of the marijuana, and sometimes I feel those challenges.  On the days I plan to smoke, I take an additional dose of Takesumi Supreme to absorb toxins from my gut.  I also plan extra baths to support detox challenges, and I make extra time to exercise and stretch my muscles to push those toxins into the bloodstream to be filtered out more easily.  These routines are helpful at many times in my life, not just when using marijuana.
Over my years of experience, personal research, and self-observation I have established that using marijuana has helped me.  However, I am aware that this remedy negatively affects my insulin reactions.  Scientific studies are typically done with test subjects in a sugar-burning metabolism rather than ketosis, a fat burning metabolism.  I’ve found that by changing the metabolic action in my body and removing sugar from my diet, I have much more emotional stability, much less physical pain, and a much more balanced blood sugar metabolism.  In ketosis I also experience a lesser degree of side effects and other adverse symptoms when using marijuana, to my great relief. 
Whether you are in ketosis or not, please make yourself a batch of Fat Picks, and remove some sugar from your diet.  Your brain will appreciate the direct energy from those healthy fats, and you may find you don’t want sugar as often as you thought!

Fat Picks featuring Tahini & Cinnamon
Recipe source--Kettle & Fire with adaptations by Kristi Matthews. Designed for ketogenic diet support.

Total Time  20 minutes, not including prep & clean up.
Servings     The original recipe suggests 10 fat treats, but I pour mine into ice cube trays with toothpicks (optional) for many more servings than suggested.              
* 1 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
* 1 cup Tahini  
* 4 Tbsp Ghee  
* 2 Tbsp Cinnamon           
* ½ tsp Sea salt
* ¼ tsp Nutmeg
* ¼ tsp Cardamom
  1. In a medium saucepan over very low heat, gently melt coconut oil, nut butter and ghee until mixed evenly, stirring and mashing as you go.
  2. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the mix of oils and butters.
  3. Place bowl in the refrigerator until mixture cools OR pour into ice cube trays.
  4. When the coconut mixture is solidified, take 1 tablespoon of the mixture from the bowl, roll into a ball, and place fat treats on a plate. Repeat until you’re out of the mixture OR you’ve filled your ice trays.  It’s easiest to fill trays when the mix is still fluid, yet cooled sufficiently, for pouring into molds.
  5. Refrigerate the fat treats or keep frozen for best presentation.
  6. Enjoy!  Be sure to store your leftover fat treats in the refrigerator or freezer, otherwise they will melt quickly.

The Many Names For Sugar

Agave Nectar

Barley Malt Syrup

Beet Sugar

Brown Rice Syrup

Brown Sugar

Cane Crystals (or, "cane juice crystals")

Cane Sugar

Coconut Sugar, or Coconut Palm Sugar

Corn sweetener

Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids

Dehydrated Cane Juice



Evaporated Cane Juice


Fruit juice concentrate


High-fructose corn syrup


Invert sugar



Malt syrup


Maple syrup


Muscovado sugar

Palm Sugar


Raw sugar

Rice Syrup


Sorghum or sorghum syrup





Tapioca syrup

Turbinado Sugar



Biography of a goddess:  Laura Knoff, B.S., N.C.

Laura Knoff has been studying nutrition since 1975 and earned her Nutrition Consultant, Nutrition Educator, Diet Counselor, and Nutrition Instructor certificates from the Institute for Educational Therapy (now Bauman College) in Penngrove, California.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Florida Atlantic University and was a Senior Research Associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Lipoprotein Group for eight years. She is also a registered professional member of the National Association of Nutritional Professionals (NANP) and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition by NANP. She is the author of “Veggiewoman’s Guide to Health, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free Eating” 2006 and “The Whole-Food Guide to Overcoming Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Strategies & Recipes for Eating well with IBS, Indigestion and other Digestive Disorders" 2010, New Harbinger Publishing, Oakland, CA. She continues to attend seminars and conferences to learn more about health and nutrition. She promotes individualized, varied, whole foods diets, moderate exercise, skilled relaxation and humor as the keys to optimal health.  She teaches nutrition at Bauman College in Berkeley California, and has a private practice at the Labrys Healthcare Circle, 6536 Telegraph Ave. A-102, Oakland, California 94609. She can be reached at (510)-658-9067 or


Biography of a goddess: Joan Margaret, D.C.

Joan is a wholistic doctor of natural healing who earned her degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 1989 from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. She is a member of the International College of Applied Kinesiology.

Joan has also studied acupressure, allergy elimination (NAET), nutrition, Bio Geometric Integration, homeopathy and Wicca. She is the founder of the Labrys Healthcare Circle and the Labrys School of Self-Healing Arts for Wimmin and Girls, and a board member of Associates for Community Education.

Before becoming a doctor, Joan was a journalist for 20 years with KPFA-FM, Mother Jones and other magazines and newspapers. She served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia from 1963-1965 in community development and public-health projects.

Welcome from the Labrys Healthcare Circle, founded by Dr. Joan Margaret in Oakland, CA. We are a group of women, who work with our growing circle of clients to provide "functional, integrative and personalized" health and wellness services. We offer private treatments and consultations, strengthened by group education held within a supportive community. We have been in practice for 29 years.

Please support our educational non-profit Labrys School of Self Healing & Empowerment for Women & Girls by making a donation.
Donate to Labrys School
Copyright © 2018 Joan Margaret, D.C., All rights reserved.
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Labrys Healthcare Circle
Address: 6536 Telegraph Avenue, Suite A102, Oakland, CA 94609

Contact Dr. Margaret
Phone: (510) 658-9066         Email: 
Contact Laura Knoff
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Joan Margaret, D.C. · 6536 Telegraph Avenue, Suite A-102 · Oakland, CA 94609 · USA

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