A couple of weeks ago I received an email that moved me. A husband emailed me to see if I would mind sharing his wife’s story and blog on my blog. His wife is a cancer survivor and on a mission to live as long as she can and sharing her story with people along with way (it involves lots of veggies and healing!). He wanted to do everything he could to help her and realized that one way was to support her new endeavor. That’s where I come in. As some of you know, starting a blog can be overwhelming and the one thing we all love is having our blog get visitors, right? Well, her husband emailed me to see if I could share her work with my visitors; thereby, getting her visitors.
I was more than happy to help this fellow veggie out. I’m so happy to share the following with you. So, without further ado…. Kristen’s Raw readers, please meet Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick.
I asked Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick to share her story of cancer and healing with you. It’s inspirational. And, it reminds me of the part in my Raw Awakening book where I write about how people can think they’re eating healthy, when they really aren’t. I actually have a potty-mouth label for it – hehe. Those of you who have read it, you know the one. ;)
As many of you know, animals are an enormous part of my life. I’ve taken in many strays over the years, adopted animals, donated to animal shelters and such, and my reason for being vegan is… for the animals. I love animals. And… I love my dog so very very much.
It’s with a heavy heart that I write today… we found out he has lymphoma. (Many of you heard this from me yesterday via facebook and I thank you all for your heart felt wishes.)
He’s about 10 years old and he’s just the best dog ever. He’s been with me through many trying times in my life, always my therapy… there to lift my spirits when I didn’t think they could be lifted. He’s my buddy.
Zeus and I at the Mogollon Rim a few years ago. We want to take him back there once he’s feeling better. We also want to take him to the beach, which he loves! A little road trip to CA is in order… as soon as he’s feeling better. Maybe in a couple months.
I have learned that lymphoma is treatable to a degree and we can prolong his life. I’m happy about that. It’s just so hard to see him the way he is today… tired, not eating, sick. Apparently, with treatment he can have a nice quality of life for maybe another 1-2 years. Without treatment, they give him 1-2 months. That information is based on general outcomes, not specific to him yet. We’re waiting on blood test results. Today, he is visiting an oncologist to start chemotherapy. This vet also does acupuncture and combines treatments with some holistic therapies. (Wish us luck!)
This was taken last week. :)
I’ve been asked many times about his diet. I can’t help but question my choices I made for him. Throughout his life he’s had a mixed diet. For the past 5-7 years, it’s always been organic (except for the drive-through foods we’ve given him). He has eaten vegetarian, vegan, and carnivorous (sometimes raw, grass fed meats, and sometimes cooked grass fed meats). Feeding our dog meat has always been a battle in my head because I don’t want to support slaughtering (although, as I wrote, I would always buy him meat from Whole Foods – not sure how “bad” that is in terms of slaughter houses – I suspect almost as bad). But. I also don’t want to feed him a diet that isn’t natural to him. That being said, many vets support a vegan diet for dogs if that is what the owner wants. Therefore, I tried to keep it balanced – sometimes vegan – sometimes not.
Now that I’m researching cancer and dogs, I keep seeing two big words: NO GRAINS. Crap. He’s had a fair share of grains in his life. Sure, he didn’t always have cancer, so maybe the grains weren’t so terrible back then. But, now… grains are apparently a no-no. Without having spoken to the oncologist yet, I went to a natural pet food store yesterday and bought a variety of raw meat / veggie mixtures. I also bought an omega oil (combo of hemp oil and sardine oil). I’m interested in getting him some E3-Live, too. Maybe using a syringe to get it down if he doesn’t like it on his food.
So… he’s off to the vet right now with Greg while I stay home with Kamea. The vet has an office that she’s in today which happens to be a long ways away (maybe over an hour). I won’t know anything more for a few hours…
UPDATE: They just called me from the vet. It’s estimated that he’s stage 3 with hypercalcemia lymphoma. He’s starting treatment today with chemotherapy, and if he responds well, we might be blessed with another year. If he doesn’t do well… it could be weeks or months (I don’t even like thinking about that!). For his diet, she said to give him a higher protein diet and a small amount of whole grains is ok. He can have meat (raw or cooked), veggies (stay away from too many carrots or potatoes), and some tofu will be fine.
We are fighters! I’m going to add omegas, E3 Live, and maybe wheat grass if he’ll tolerate it. We will do everything we can. I’m currently reading the free pdf ebook, The Dog Cancer Diet and reading this (recommended by a trusted friend, thank you), The Nature of Animal Healing.
I am inspired. I am motivated. I am feeling high after watching this documentary, even though it’s the fifth time I’ve seen it. When the publishers of Food Matters sent me a copy for review, I was elated because it had been on my to-do list for a long time. And, man, am I glad I saw it! I showed it to both my mom and husband and we all wholeheartedly agreed that this is a documentary we want to see a few times a year. It’s that good! Every time I see it, I hear something new. And for the stuff I’ve already heard, it just further ingrains it in my subconsciousness and I feel myself internalizing its details more and more. I walk away feeling strong, smart, and empowered about my lifestyle decisions, albeit a bit frustrated at times because not enough people know this information. That’s where YOU come in!
If you haven’t seen Food Matters yet… get to it! You can rent it on Netflix or purchase it here. Once it’s in your hot little hands – watch it multiple times! Then, be sure to share it with your family and friends. Here’s some of what you’ll learn:
Heart disease and cancer are the top two killers in the United States annually. (That might not be breaking news to some people, but I get jolted every time I hear it.) Additionally, 39,000 people die due to unnecessary surgery and other errors in hospitals. But that’s not all! 80,000 people die due to other infections in hospitals and 106,000 people die due to adverse drug reactions.
Less than 6% of graduating physicians in the USA receive any formal training in nutrition! Holy sh*t!! No wonder they almost never prescribe nutritional remedies to things that, er, are 100% curable with nutrition. It just pains me every time I hear this.
I pretty much hang on every line of Food Matters. I love the discussion of vitamins and the vital role they can play in helping fight illness at various quantities. It was fascinating to learn about therapeutic effects of niacin, and its history as a cure for depression with the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s important to recognize that vitamins enable the body to heal, it’s not the vitamins doing the healing. The body is powerful when given the right tools and building blocks.
The documentary also covers eye-opening, scary information about drugs, their trials, studies, and regulatory approval process. You’re not going to hear drug companies telling you that “two handfuls of cashews can give you the same therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac.” No wonder I love Raw vegan cheesecake.
Food Matters also addresses the fact that cardiovascular disease is a lifestyle disease which can be reversed with… drumroll please… DIET, FOOD, NUTRIENTS, STRESS REDUCTION, EXERCISE. Again, this is not rocket science. It’s a simple formula that we can all apply. (Ehem! I hope my dad is reading my blog.) The scary aspect of it is the dependance on physicians who are viewed as omniscient, but who lack nutrition education, such as two physicians I heard last week on CNN and MSNBC about how heart disease “can’t be cured.” They don’t know!! Instead, they are knowledgeable only about drugs, and educated by the drug companies themselves. Something is very wrong with that picture. But, of course, this isn’t generally known to the public because:
Most doctors are not trained to the know this information.
There is no profit prescribing fruits and veggies. Drug companies have a duty to shareholders, and I get that. But, guess what? I have a duty to myself. So take that drug companies!
It was gripping learning about the amazing success of Gerson Therapy with some forms of cancer. Why aren’t more oncologists recommending this? My Nana died of malignant melanoma, where Gerson Therapy has been particularly effective. Why didn’t my Nana’s doctor tell her about this amazing vitamin-megadosing, nutritional option? Because they didn’t know about it!… Why not? Because they aren’t taught about it, and frankly, many physicians are not open to natural therapies, even though that’s how the body works. I wish I had known back then what I know now, because my grandmother would’ve been open to that form of therapy. I don’t want to come off too hard on doctors because I do recognize that there is a place for them and hospitals. They’re excellent in many aspects of medicine (acute illnesses, traumas, surgery, etc.) but they are systematically failing at helping us with many chronic diseases because they treat symptoms instead of underlying causes. The bottom line is, despite decades of research and new drugs, that the incidence of diseases like heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, diabetes… they’re going up. It’s sadly laughable to look at the money spent on the “war on cancer” and its failure to reduce cancer rates or deaths. I just wish more professionals would talk about how a healthy plant-strong lifestyle is helpful at fighting cancer and preventing it. It’s worked for so many already, and for those of us who don’t have that diagnosis of cancer, let’s do everything we can to prevent it. Go Plants!
Food does matter. Our bodies are powerful if only we’ll give them a chance to be strong with healthy, organic plant-based foods. So, choose those! Stack the deck in your favor! Set yourself up to win! Strengthen your immune system nutritionally! Nourish yourself with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients! Watch Food Matters and get FIRED UP about this awesome lifestyle!
Here is a great song they featured in Food Matters. Check out the lyrics here and sing along as you listen.
Here are great articles that I hope you take the time to check out.
Time Magazine: Getting Real About the High Price of Food – I’m excited because the word is getting out more and more about healthier eating… local, organic, more plant based foods, treating animals better, etc. Apparently, this article is the cover of Time magazine – YAY! We had Food, Inc. (see my post about Food, Inc) over the summer and now this.
White House Farmers’ Market – How cool that Obama is talking about having a farmers’ market outside the White House. I love shopping at my farmers’ market and I’m a part of a CSA that I LOVE. Everyone should have access to locally grown organic veggies. Everyone.
Relaxing for Health (and fertility!!!), It’s Good For You – I really enjoyed reading this article. Relaxation is so important… for boosting the immune system, helping digestion, and, yes, fertility! I’m all over that. In fact, I’ve recently purchased a few cds on meditation and visualization for pregnancy, infertility, etc. They’re WONDERFUL! I play them in the background when I’m getting ready for the day, when I’m juicing, and when I’m falling asleep at night.
*UPDATE: I’m adding this article that I found today:
The Anti-Cancer Diet- Whoohoo! Go Plants! I especially like the part about eating more RAW and ORGANIC! I’m saving the link to this article, because it sure pumped me up and encouraged my lifestyle.
Here are some of the things I had today. Yummy, fresh, all organic, and full of vitality.
1 quart green juice (plant blood!) with a dash of wheat germ oil (high in Vitamin E, an important vitamin for fertility). I like to make a LOT, like 10-15 cups worth. I store it in glass mason jars, filled to the tippy top, in my refrigerator. It only lasts us about 2 days maximum because between my husband and myself, we drink it all up.
2 cups grapes
These were from the CSA and they were awesome… fresh, crisp, sweet, and damn refreshing.
6 cups Raspberry Green Smoothie (1.5 cups filtered water, 3 cups raspberries, 6 leaves curly purple kale, 3 bananas) – I didn’t drink this all at once. It’s loaded with nutrients and lots of fiber. Mmmmmm…
Coconut Yogurt with 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (the yogurt is not Raw)
3 cups Creamy Juicy Greens
This is where I take a couple cups of the fresh green juice that I have and blend it with avocado in my Vita-mix blender. This is great because: 1) some nutrients need fat to be assimilated, 2) if the green juice is too green or spicy, then the avocado mellows it out a bit, 3) it’s totally satisfying and filling, and 4) the creamy factor is out of of this world! When I juice my greens using my Green Star (read about my 2 favorite juicers here).
Guacamole and Salsa
I love this combination as an easy and delicious salad. Avocados are so good for you, and tomatoes have nutrients in them that need fat (like from the avocados) to help your body assimilate them.
As many of you know, I’ve been letting my bleached blonde hair grow out to my natural brown color. Here is an email I received today…
Hi Kristen, I saw your video and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. You look great but I do prefer you as a blonde, it just fits better with you. I WAS a natural blonde until nature turned it darker around 16…:( Anyway I am really into raw, non toxic stuff like you are. However I almost was going to go au natural with the hair (very very blonde by the way) until I realized I just didn’t want to. I WANT to be blonde, and a little hair dye isn’t going to kill me ya know? We are all dying and everthing around us is a toxic threat, cars, flying, radiation. I personally felt I would live happier being blonde, it feels like me. And in your video I could tell you are just a blonde. I only did my roots during my pregnancy once (before I know I was preggers) and other than that just had some dark roots for 8 months lol.
I do a natural hair color, that is as non toxic as it gets and I do highlights, so nothing is really touching my scalp except for the toner for 5 minutes. I’m not bleach blonde anymore, but I am very blonde and the highlights make it seem bleach blonde. Anyway this was just to let you know I was in the same position as you and it is OK to live life. Oh and I totally agree too if you keep it natural, I just wanted to give some friendly advice!!
I got a real kick out of this email because… I am living life and I love it. I don’t take the stance that I should accept that I’m just dying (and that we all are). I am alive and I’m excited to be doing things in an attempt to prolong that. Of course, there are toxins out there that I cannot really control (cars, pollution, etc.), so I’m doing what I can, to control as much as possible many other things such as eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, making sure I rest and have good quality sleep, and using the healthiest hair and beauty products.
One of the defining moments for me when I decided to go natural was the result of spending a lot of time on Kris Carr’s forum, CrazySexyLife. It was hard seeing so many young women with cancer. And, at that point I realized that a clean diet is not enough. Yes, things are cumulative when it comes to stresses on the body and that’s the point; I want to do as much as I can to reduce that accumulation. Furthermore… even if I can reduce my toxicity… I realize that doesn’t guarantee I won’t get cancer, but I can’t help but feel that it helps.
What’s funny (and was unexpected) is that, since going back to brunette, I feel more natural now,with respect to my overall attitude and aura, than I have in 20 years. I walk by a mirror and I feel beautiful… I just wish my hair were longer and that’s the hardest thing for me right now. Not only has my hair been blond for so long, but it’s always been very long. I’m trying to grow it out and that’s been the hardest part. All I can do is be patient.
I respect that maybe the gal who wrote the email doesn’t want to be natural, but I do. I have no intention of going back to blond. I am very happy with the color of my hair. I love it. I am avoiding as many chemicals as possible, because it’s not good for my health or for the environment. I think a lot of people forget that the environment also suffers when not only the coloring products wash down the drain and into our water supply, as well as taking into account the fuel needed to produce the product, but also the upkeep of other products needed to maintain the colored hair so it doesn’t look processed (i.e., shampoos, conditioners, hair balm, gel, etc). All of those things have a detrimental eco effect. For me, it’s not just one little procedure every few months. I can’t validate what I was doing using that logic. And, the fact that some processes don’t touch my scalp doesn’t let me off the hook either… it still damages the shaft of my hair. Bleach-damaged hair requires a chemical soup of products in order to appear healthy while it’s actually quite porous. I’m so relieved that the days of seeing so many frizzed-out flyaway rogue hairs around my face are gone. No more breakage! No more ends snapping off! (Hair isn’t supposed to do that!) My hair is beautifully soft and shiny and healthy. It now feels right, both literally and figuratively.
It’s not an issue you hear about very often, but I expect we’ll all be hearing about it more as time goes by and data come in about the additive effects of toxins on the body.
So how about all of you out there? If you color your hair, or have ever considered doing so, did toxicity play any role in your thinking? Or have you switched one way or the other, only to have people coming out of the woodwork telling you they liked it the other way? Please share your story!
It’s been such a great weekend. I went to the farmer’s market and loaded up with plenty of fresh, locally grown, organic, Super Qi produce. I played Mah Jongg with my family today. And, now it’s time to start a new week, all fresh and energized! It’s going to be a great week, I can feel it already. In fact, I think it’s that time again… for another one of my Awesome Giveaways! Check back this week for details.
Broccoli. There is so much to say about broccoli and her powers. She’s mighty and strong and delicious and beautiful and oh-so-powerful. We all need broccoli in our life. While I’m not fighting cancer that I know of, I am certainly doing everything in my life to prevent it. And broccoli is in my arsenal of weapons for doing this.
Many of you think I’m doing the following amazing preparations for getting pregnant and think that’s the main reason I’m changing so many things such as:
1) TRULY natural hair and body care products (how do your products rate?) 2) Making my own home cleaning products (posting recipes I’m using soon) 3) No longer coloring my blond locks (read more here) 4) My super healthy diet, and more
Yes, because I’m trying to get pregnant soon, I want to be as healthy as possible. But, that’s not the only reason.
Some of you know I’m a regular contributor at Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life community (I’ve recently been honored as an Ambassador of the community – I’m so thrilled about that). Well, since contributing regularly in that super warm, amazing community, my eyes have been opened big time. You don’t have to have cancer to be a part of that group because it’s an overall wellness community, but many of the people there do have cancer. People my age. People just like me. People just like you. It’s humbling and sad, yet empowering. I’ve concluded that I’m not leaving it up to my diet for preventing cancer. I’m not taking any chances… and why should I? (or why should you for that matter?) I’m doing everything I can to live as clean a life as possible, because the toxins in our environment are overwhelming (you know those products you “thought” were okay, well, some are still not safe – read shocking info here). After spending time in Kris Carr’s community and seeing so many people fight cancer, I’m maintaining my new EXTRA healthy and clean lifestyle for good, whether I conceive or not.
It’s easy to do. There are so many terrific products (or ingredients to make your own) on the market that it’s a no-brainer to me (for beauty, hair, cleaning, etc – I’ll post my favorites soon!). And, Whoo-Whee, don’t forget about all the good you’re doing for the environment by making these better choices. Let me just tell you, I’ve never felt so proud… and so amazing, wonderful, pure, energized, and full of life.
Okay, so let’s get back to one of the powerhouse cancer fighting and preventing staples in my life… broccoli. I love broccoli. I’ll be honest, I’m not a raving fan of just eating it plain and raw. Those cute little trees are a little tough when they’re in that form. But, I do enjoy it in the following ways:
1) Juice (I made Broccoli Carrot Plant Blood today – serious deliciousness) 2) Smoothie (blended with bananas, apples, or mango) 3) Pureed Raw in a dish like Flying Dragon Broccoli 4) Sprouts (more info on HUGE sprout powers here) 5) Very gently steamed
To cook or not to cook? I’ve read many things stating that broccoli should be steamed gently to release some of the nutrients. Of course, by steaming or cooking, you destroy many other nutrients as well. So, I do both. I’m keeping it balanced by enjoying it Raw in most cases (as well as having it lightly steamed on occasion). Here is a great article detailing the amazing cancer fighting benefits of Raw broccoli. Additionally, broccoli juice has been shown to decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Let’s give broccoli (vegetable royalty), a huge applause for the following: vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, chromium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, lutein, zeaxanthin, phosphorous… just to name a few basics, but that’s not all:
indoles and isothiocynates: Major cancer fighting players by neutralizing carcinogens – noted for helping prevent lung and esophageal cancers among others.
sulforaphane glucosinolate: Sprouts have a far higher concentration of these than mature broccoli. Shown to stop the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. Other studies show the growth of thyroid and goiter cancer cells to be slowed when treated with sulfur containing substances found in broccoli. They may also help prevent the growth of bacteria causing stomach ulcers.
indole-3-carbinol: Stimulator of detoxifying enzymes and shown to protect DNA.