What I Do
I was raised Catholic. I went to church every Sunday when I was a little girl. When I went off to college I didn’t go to church, but I still believed in God. When I met my husband, we started going to church together. When we moved to Boston, the Catholic church was right around the corner, we didn’t go! After my father passed away in 2006, we started going to church again. As you can see I was a church- goer and believed in God, but maybe lacked a strong faith. Actually, definitely lacked a strong faith!
After I was diagnosed with cancer my friend Lynda wrote scripture verses on sticky notes. I stuck those notes all over my bedroom. I would read them daily before my surgery and during my recovery. She also sent me several Joel Osteen DVD’s. Before my surgery, my friend LuAnn introduced me to “The Healing CD”(this is what I call the CD) It is actually “Heaven’s Health Food,” by Larry Hutton, which I listened to every night before surgery, during recovery, and every night for a year and a half after my diagnosis. I still listen to the CD before every scan. LuAnn also gave me “God’s Will to Heal,” CD by Keith Moore. Moore gives you thirty reasons from scripture why it is God’s will for you to be healed. Go to “Resources/Faith”
Something else started happening…..”Big Faith”
We were in Boston before surgery. We went to Mass in our little Catholic church. My husband looks in the front row and sees a man that he had worked with in Pittsburgh. This man is very religious. Why would he be in our little church in Boston? We waited to see him after church. He said he was just passing through with his children and just picked this church! I mean, it is Boston! There are Catholic churches everywhere and he picked this one! A message from God?
On my first visit to M.D.Anderson I met my doctor’s nurse practitioner. She was such a kind and compassionate person. When I went home after the first visit, and before my surgery, I was watching one of the Joel video’s that my friend Lynda had sent. And guess who is in the audience? The nurse practitioner! When I saw her again she confirmed that she did in fact go to Joel’s church! Really? Out of all the people in the audience? Out of all the DVD’s my friend could have sent? Out of all the nurse practitioners I could have had? A message from God that I was going to be okay?
Fast forward about four months after my surgery, I am starting to get my normal life back, I had decided my course of action. I went to Macy’s department store to purchase a wedding gift. When I was purchasing the item I struck up a conversation with the lovely women that waited on me; Just general chit chat. It was like we were long-time friends. After I checked out, she told me that the item I bought may be going on sale and to check back. It did go on sale so I went back and guess who was working? My lovely friend! My husband was with me this time. After the transaction was over she came around the counter, gave me a big hug and said “Girl, you are going to live a long life!” My husband asked if I had told her about my recent diagnosis surgery etc…I had not!!! And the best part is this lovely angels name was MARY!!! God assuring me that I was going to be okay?
Fast Forward about eight months after surgery, we were attending church in Scottsdale, AZ. After Mass, I shook the priest’s hand, only he didn’t let go. He held my hand, puts his other hand over mine, and said, “God is working with you” He didn’t know me or my situation. This one still gives me chills when I read it. God spoke to me again!
Faith, my friends, played a big role in my healing journey. I continue to have “big faith” to this day!
I have provided the scripture verses under “Resources/Faith”
What is juicing? Juicing extracts the liquid from the vegetables and fruits which means the fiber is left out. The good stuff from the vegetables and fruit gets into your body quickly because there is no fiber to slow it down. It is important to remember that fruit contains sugar, so I use a 3:1 ratio, three veggies to one fruit.
What is the difference between juicing and blending? Basically, juicing removes all of the fiber from the vegetables and fruits. Blending keeps the fiber. There are advantages to both juicing and blending. I like to blend after a workout, adding vegan protein powder. Many people like to start their day with a blended smoothie.
What type of juicer should you buy? You can start with a basic juicer like the Breville Juice Fountain for around $99.00. This juicer is a centrifugal juicer which means the vegetables and fruits are shredded and spun quickly, a bit loudly, sending the juice into a pitcher while the wet pulp goes into a separate compartment. This juicer has a wide mouth to send the produce through so you don’t need to cut up the veggies and fruit into tiny pieces. The centrifugal juicer is easier to clean because it has fewer parts. If you feel like juicing is something you will stick with, you can buy a more expensive juicer like the Omega J8006 for around $290. This juicer is a masticating juicer which means the vegetables and fruits are chewed up slowly and quietly, sending the juice into a pitcher while the much drier pulp goes into a separate compartment. This juicer has a small mouth to send the produce through, so you will need to cut the veggies and fruit into smaller pieces. The masticating juicer takes more time to clean because it has more parts. A masticating juicer is a better option, in my opinion, because it runs at a slower speed, which means you get more of the juice out of the vegetables and fruits, this is also why the pulp is drier. I started with the Breville and have now advanced to the Omega, I can definitely tell the difference in the taste!
I am not going to lie, when I first started juicing, I thought it was overwhelming. But it got easier. I use a lot of recipes from Kris Carr’s book Crazy, Sexy, Juice or I will just look in the refrigerator, see what I have, and make up one. So long as you have a cucumber, some celery, some type of green, and a fruit, you can make a juice!
My go-to easy juice:
1 cucumber, 3 stocks of celery, a handful or two of greens like spinach or kale, 1 green apple, a ½ of a lemon and a ¼ inch piece of ginger.
All of the ingredients should be organic!!!
You will find more juice recipes under “Recipes/Juicing”
While I was recovering from surgery (and because I had decided, for sure, that I was not going to do chemo), I knew I had to research options to make and keep myself well. Research can make a person crazy. My husband actually made me step away from all the research for a few days because it was overwhelming me. There is so much information on the Internet. Some legit and some bogus. But how do you know? Certain names, foods and ideas keep reoccurring.
The following is a chronological ordering of my research at the beginning of my diagnosis.
I started with Knockout, a book written by Suzanne Somers. It is a great resource that offers hope in that there are alternatives that are working. I did go see Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski at the Burzynski Clinic. I was intrigued by their cutting edge approach. However, given my type of cancer, they didn’t think they would be able to help my situation.
One day I was reading about Kris Carr in Prevention magazine. Kris has a slow-growing, incurable cancer. Her documentary Crazy, Sexy, Cancer was a testament to the fact that I could make and keep myself well. I highly recommend watching this documentary. Kris eats a vegan diet, and she juices. I would call her “The Queen of Juicing.” She has several books (you will find the complete list on my resource page). My two favorite books are Crazy, Sexy Juice and Crazy, Sexy Diet. I use her Crazy, Sexy Juice book as a reference for many of my juices and smoothies.
The next book I found was Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by David Sevan-Schreiber, MD. This doctor had brain cancer and lived 20 years after his diagnosis by researching the body’s natural cancer-fighting capabilities. He explains what enables cancer cells to thrive and what inhibits them. The book validates that food plays a key role in getting healthy and staying healthy.
The Budwig Diet. In 1952 Dr. Johanna Budwig was considered one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils. While engaging in her research, she discovered that many of the conventionally processed fats and hydrogenated oils destroy the membranes of our cells which, in turn, cause diseased cells and toxicity. Her healing plan works on improving the cells’ well-being. The Budwig Protocol gives cells what is needed in order for them to normalize in their functioning processes. I seriously considered this protocol and, as I research it again, may add it as a weekly maintenance for my continued health.
Dr. Axe has a video on how to do the Budwig Protocol. He adds turmeric and black pepper to the original protocol.
I researched The Gerson Therapy. Dr. Gerson suffered from severe migraines so he experimented with diet to prevent these headaches. He not only cured his headaches but cured a patient of skin tuberculosis. The dietary theory was successfully applied to lung tuberculosis, heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes and finally—cancer. In 1938 Dr. Gerson was licensed in the state of New York, and for 20 years he treated hundreds of patients who had been given up to die after their conventional treatments had failed. In 1958, after thirty years of clinical experimentation, he published A Cancer Therapy-Results of 50 Cases. You can read his full story in Dr. Max Gerson Healing the Hopeless. His daughter, Charlotte, continued his healing ways. In 1977 she founded The Gerson Institute. Juicing is an important part of the Gerson Therapy which validates Kris Carr, and is why I juice daily!
You can also look at Dr. Axe’s website about Dr. Max Gerson.
Next to fall on my plate was the film Forks Over Knives. This documentary explores a plant-based diet and the effects it has on controlling or reversing many diseases that plague humans today, including cancer.
The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. (from Forks Over Knives) and his son Thomas Campbell II, MD., is an eye-opening look into the healing power of a plant-based diet.
The Netflix of Health! Enter FMTV.com for around $8 a month. It streams hundreds of health and wellness documentaries, recipes, videos, yoga classes, expert interviews and more….on demand. I love this “Netflix for Health!” I get many juicing and food recipes from this site. It is also my go-to for up-to-date research through its many documentaries. I highly recommend FMTV!
My favorite book of all is Radical Remission: The Nine Key Factors That Make a Real Difference by Dr. Kelly A. Turner, PhD. Dr. Turner researched over a thousand cases of radical remission—cases of people who have defied a serious or even terminal cancer diagnosis with a complete reversal of the disease. Talk about getting goosebumps! These stories are truly inspirational! This book is a MUST HAVE!
I am always researching. I will watch a new documentary on FMTV, and that viewing will spark my desire to research, or someone will call me to ask if I have heard of something, and that will lead to my researching. Re-visiting what I researched over five years ago has provided for me an unexpected satisfaction as I now recognize how much my own knowledge has grown. Indeed, my five-year look-back, also, has provided an unexpected excitement, as well, as I have come to realize that the various research paths, then and now, consistently remain focused on one’s DIET.
You will see my newest research on my blog (coming soon). Also, please go to Rock-Star Foods on the drop down under What I do.
Rock-Star Foods Cancer Nutrition Research
In my opinion, it all comes down to one conclusion, eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. What does that mean? Eating mostly vegetables, fruits, tubers (think root crops like potatoes and carrots), whole grains, and legumes (think beans and lentils). A whole-food, plant-based diet may also include eating meat, eggs and dairy in small quantities. Sweets? NO!
Whole foods are those foods that are unprocessed. If a food comes in a package….DON’T EAT IT! Fresh vegetables and fruits are my first choice. I do buy frozen organic fruits and vegetables. I do buy canned beans but make sure the can is BPA-free.
After searching through books, articles, and documentaries, I have the opinion that the following foods are foods you should eat, A LOT! I am not a doctor, scientist, nor am I a nutritionist so my opinions are not professional ones, but I feel as though this way of eating along with my exercise routine is what has worked for me.
The following vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds surfaced multiple times in the various resources that I read and viewed. These are foods that are believed to have cancer-fighting properties. I listed these foods as I came across them and refer to them as The Rock-Star Foods. They are foods that ought to be eaten as often as possible.
The Rock-Star Foods
broccoli, spinach, kale, brussels sprout, mushrooms, cauliflower, collards, apples, sweet potatoes, asparagus, chickpeas, red kidney beans, cabbage, romaine, tomatoes, bok choy, carrots, arugula, orange & yellow peppers, squash, and turnip greens, beets, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, peaches, nectarines, honeydew, mangoes, black-eyed peas, lentils, navy beans, black beans, brown rice, quinoa
What does the above foods tell me?
Eat a lot of Cruciferous Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprout, cabbage, swiss chard, and bok choy.
Eat dark leafy greens
Eat beans and legumes (3 servings a day would be great)
AND: Juice (Check Juicing under “What I do” tab. Find recipes and books on juicing under “Recipes” tab)
Other foods that are important to add to your daily food planning:
Almonds, Cashews, Pumpkin, Chia, Flax, Hemp, Sunflower and Sesame Seeds.
This next section is for people who don’t want to be vegetarian or vegan but want to follow a whole- food diet.
Buy pastured, organic chicken and eggs. Look for local farmers or check with your local health food store. If you can’t find pasture-raised, buy organic chicken and cage free eggs.
Limit your beef intake. When you do eat beef, buy pasture-raised beef. If you can’t buy pasture-raised, buy organic beef.
What about fish? Stay away from “farm-raised”. If you live near an ocean, try to buy local fish. Otherwise, limit your intake.
What about dairy? You should limit your dairy intake. Dairy contains casein. In the documentary Forks Over Knives, research shows that casein increases cancer risks. A better option is to drink nut milks. You can find nut milks in grocery stores, but they will have preservatives. Why not make your own! (Go to “recipes”)
And friends, CANCER LOVES SUGAR!!! NO SWEETS!
CHECK LABELS! If you buy packaged foods, you would be surprised where sugar is hiding!
Also, limit your carb intake because carbs turn to sugar!
So now you are thinking, what about fruit sugar? Pick fruits that are high in fiber. Berries and apples are your best choice. Stay away from fruit drinks!
What do I do?
I eat an 80% Vegan Diet (plant-based) and a 20% Non-Vegan (whole-food). At home, I eat only vegan. That means no dairy, no cheese, no meat or fish. When I go out to dinner, I still try to make good decisions, but I have been known to order a petite filet at a really nice steak place. And when getting pizza, I am not going to get it without cheese!
Here is a typical day of my diet.
First thing in the morning is 24 ounces of luke warm water with the juice of half a lemon.
Breakfast: Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread with mashed avocado, lime, pepper, red pepper flakes, and sea salt or Ezekiel Bread with natural almond butter (only ingredient should be almonds), Earnest Oats Oatmeal or overnight oats.
Mid Morning: Smoothie (usually after a workout). Here is an example: 2 big handfuls of spinach, a cup of mixed berries, Vega One Protein Powder, ¼ cup goji berries, ½ tsp cinnamon, 2 cups nut milk. See more under “Recipes”
Lunch: A BIG salad!!! Here is an example: romaine or green leaf lettuce, red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, broccoli, shredded red cabbage, hemp seeds and, a few dashes of turmeric. I either make my salad dressing or I use Briannas Real French Vinaigrette in a pinch. Check under “Recipes” for more. Commercial salad dressings usually have a lot of sugar in them (14 grams or more).
Mid Day: Juice! Here is an example: 1 cucumber, 3 celery sticks, 1 green apple, 3 leaves of kale or swiss chard, ½ lemon, 1 inch piece of ginger. Check under “Juicing” for more information about juicing and “Recipes” for more.
Dinner: A delicious vegan meal! Here is an example: Quinoa Tacos and Bang Bang Brussel Sprouts. Check under “Recipes/Favorites” and under “Books” for my go-to cookbooks.