About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Doing what I can do

I just finished reading a new book, "Crazy Sexy Diet." It's by Kris Carr, a woman who also wrote a book called "Crazy Sexy Cancer" along with a documentary of the same name. She has a website, Crazy Sexy Life, that has some interesting stuff on it.

Kris calls herself and those who follow her plan "wellness warriors." Sounds good to me.

Her recommendations go along with a lot of what I have already learned about nutrition and fighting disease. Kris is big into juicing and smoothies. Her approach is vegan, although she doesn't say you have to be. I've slowly been cutting back on meat products over the past year or so. I try to think of meat as a side dish rather than the main course. She also has eliminated dairy. That is hard for me to give up completely. I like yogurt and cheese.  When I do have meat or dairy, I make sure that its organic. At least I feel better on that score.

I'm very interested in raw foods and am probably gravitating towards a vegetarian diet. A friend loaned me her Vitamix and I've been making green smoothies for breakfast every day. I've always liked to get a serving of veggies in the morning. With the smoothies, I'm probably getting at least 5! I don't really follow a recipe-I just throw in stuff I have. This morning it was: 3 leaves of kale; 1/2 cucumber; dandelion greens; mizuna; a whole apple (with seeds); 1/2 pear; 2 oz aloe vera juice; 1/2 lemon juiced; alkalizing drops; a little apple juice and water.  It may sound gross, but its pretty good! It gets a little foamy, which is annoying. But to know you are taking in all of those vitamins, enzymes, and phytochemicals makes it worth it. I just feel healthier. At least I do.

The idea is to create an alkaline environment inside your body. Unfortunately, the typical American diet with a lot of sugar, carbohydrates, processed foods, and meat creates an acidic one. That is something that cancer thrives on. Cancer does not like alkalinity and oxygen.  Kris suggests going 80/20. That is, 80% of your food being veggies, with the other 20% being whole grains, beans, legumes, and other good, whole food. I've found it easy to do if I have a green smoothie at breakfast and then a salad at lunch. That makes 2 raw meals for the day. At night I'll cook some veggies, grains, and make something for the carnivores in the house. I usually will have a small bit of meat, but try to make it 3 ounces or less.  Sugar is something that should be avoided...it feeds cancer. Kris refers to sugar as "crack." An addiction that we must wean ourselves from.  

Along with the continued exercise, it helps me feel like I am doing all I can do to prevent cancer from coming back. I've been learning a lot about "food as medicine," throughout my journey, especially as it relates to cancer. God gave us what we need to be healthy. We just have to get back to the simplicity of it all. Forget the processed food. Cut back on sugar and alcohol. 80% veggies and I'm good to go. There are a lot of good vegetarian recipes online that I keep discovering. Now if I could just get my family to not be so attached to the way things used to be in our house.

I love the Vitamix, but I also would like to get a juicer for when I don't want the heaviness of the fiber. It would give my digestive system a break too. Kris does both. Maybe I'll get one for Mother's Day.

So I'm dabbling in this nutritional world, evolving toward vegetarianism.  Maybe even vegan.  Not out of any kind of love for animals-don't sign me up for PETA or anything.  Don't get me wrong, animals are great.  But that isn't the driving force for me. It's about what is good for my particular body as a cancer warrior. I also feel like I'm playing catch up with my immune system after chemo and radiation. The healing is taking place on the inside. Thank you, Jesus!

My prayer requests:

  • The tickle is STILL here, after 2 solid weeks. I'm still not sleeping all night. 
  • That my body heal from all of the treatment that it has gone through over the past several months.
  • That I be cancer free.
  • That I be able to stick with my resolve concerning my eating habits. Cutting back on sugar, alcohol and meat.  Adding lots of veggies and healthy stuff.  Help me remember why I am doing this! (I sometimes lecture myself, "sugar feeds cancer...sugar feeds cancer...."). 

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a pretty good breakdown...doesn't sound quite so drastic or complicated when you put it this way. I love Chris' books. She really has done a fine job on giving people her take on things. Keep up the good work Tonya!