This blog is in honor of my AWESOME cancer blood check result this month, it came in perfectly low & I actually handled this blood draw better than my previous emotional melt-downs. I believe the benefits of yoga and mindful living are manifesting in my life, in particular, how I easily controlled my emotions while waiting the 24 hours for the results. It helped that I feel good, better than I have in over a year; so good, in fact, I can now honestly say that I am doing well, prognosis is good, very good. I credit my health to hard work and implementing the teachings of both western and eastern medicine and practice. I also credit my hard-line admission of cheating… I eat dark chocolate almost every day, but not much, a few bites. I will grab a handful of homemade potato chips at least twice a week, I drink a glass of wine almost every day and I eat out at restaurants once a week (limiting my menu options). I think moderation is the key to my sanity with all the lifestyle changes I have had to make and I truly feel satisfied because of these little cheats.
What does my diet consist of, one might wonder, when fighting cancer? There are many diet plans and even more opinions, but here is the plan I have culled over the past 8 months and it is really working well for me:
at the core of everything… I eat and drink only WARM food and beverages. If not warm, then definitely room temp; this saves your body from having to fight to keep your core temperature at 98.6. No processed or packaged foods, no hormones, chemicals or preservatives… keeping all food & beverages as close to nature as possible.
hot water and green tea… all filtered water & heated in a stainless steel container; I drink as much of these as possible & then drink some more!!
vegetables and fruits… I keep it all organic, and if I dip into the pesticide world, I never touch the “dirty dozen” (2015’s list from the EWG: apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes…. and a bonus addition this year, leafy greens & hot peppers).
meat… I stay clear from chicken because it makes things grow faster (according to my eastern medicine doctor – good for kids but not for cancer) and shellfish (toxin issue). All other meats are good if following these guidelines; free-range, pasture fed & organic.
cooking vs raw food… raw is just better and is something I am struggling with because I used to love grilling (& still do cheat with this option) but have to go with roasting or searing instead. Sushi is lovely, but I don’t like other meats raw; which brings me to dehydrating foods, something I am going to play with and report back.
sugar is just not a good idea… but dark chocolate is ok in small amounts, according to me!
shakes/smoothies… I drink one small protein drink a day, Biopharma Scientific makes a variety of great products that my body has really responded well to in my recovery (two thumbs up for the “nanogreens”).
sprouted beans are one of my favorite things… I add them to salads, sautéed vegetables, soups, and even eat them alone!!
nuts… are my all-day snacks; all kinds, unsalted, mostly raw & mixed with (unsweetened) sundried cranberries.
one shot a day… a combination of fresh squeezed ginger juice & 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (if I can find the turmeric root, I juice it along with the ginger).
apple-cider vinegar… I like to integrate this as often as possible, but mostly rely on using it to make my favorite vinaigrette, toss a bowl of arugula & eat with my sautéed vegetables for dinner that night.
NO PLASTIC… ANYWHERE!!
After reading this list, I’m quite certain many of you have placed me in the clinically insane category of your blogs… I would like to emphasize one last time… it is imperative that I CHEAT EVERYDAY. It may be something small, like a cold glass of water on a hot day or as large as eating a piece of cake with ice cream. It is important to remember that this is YOUR LIFE and only you know how hard you can push yourself without cracking!! I think Jocelyn Weiss, PhD MPH, said it best, “to outsiders, eating unprocessed and healthy foods is a form of deprivation and punishment. But in actuality, once you start eating clean your taste buds come alive, ‘boring’ foods take on new life and you start to feel how your body responds to what you eat. The key is to figure out what foods work for you and to eat them in the forms closest to how they are found in nature.” And for me, the most important thing to remember is that a lifestyle change happens over time until it is something you become, it doesn’t happen overnight!!
Which brings me to yoga!!! Just because I cannot do a free-handstand or other advanced yoga moves doesn’t make me less of a yogi, I practice every day and each day brings me closer to my goal of doing that hand-stand. I credit so much of who I am now, to the practice of yoga & proper breathing; I am a better person, both physically and emotionally from this daily practice. I now dabble with meditation but haven’t gotten past 10 minutes… something to work on.
I wish this peace of mind & body to all who desire, and it’s not a destination, it is a path… each new morning I awaken to a fun journey with my body. I see the true beauty of life staring back at me and I just want more light in my life… this is not a lifestyle of deprivation, quite the opposite, it is one of deep love for yourself and the world!!