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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Warrior dressing

As readers know, I've been doing a lot of reading and learning about cancer fighting ingredients over the past several months.

Most days, I have a big green salad with all sorts of veggies in it for lunch. It's high fiber, lots of great vitamins with phytochemicals in the veggies.  I try to "eat the rainbow" in these salads by putting in different color elements: red tomatoes, orange/yellow/red bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, shredded squash, hearts of palm, and so on. Whatever I may have in the fridge is fair game. I've even put leftover quinoa in it!

I've come up with a salad dressing that I'm really excited about that I wanted to share. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I like the taste, and the ingredients are all on the list of major cancer fighters.  I call it my "Pink & Plaid Warrior Dressing."  (I've actually entered into the food database on myfitnesspal.com.)

1/2 tablespoon flax oil
1 1/2 tablespoon Braggs organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Freshly ground pepper.

Just whisk it all together and pour it over your salad. There are about 64 calories in this, mostly coming from the flax oil. But these are NOT empty calories. Let me share what each of these ingredients brings to the party:

Flax oil: Flax seeds are perhaps the best source in nature for lignans, a phytoestrogen that may help women with estrogen-sensitive cancer (like me) by blocking estrogen receptor sites in the body. Kind of like nature's Tamoxifen! It is high in Omega 3 and 9 essential fatty acids. It has about 50% more omega 3's than fish oil. Omega 3's help lower inflammation in the body, which is something that contributes to the growth of cancer. To read more about the wonders of flax, check out this article.

Apple cider vinegar: I prefer the Bragg's brand. It is organic, unfiltered and has the sediment, "the mother," included in it. Since 400 BC, people have been using this ingredient as a health elixir and energizing tonic. It has been known to aid in weight loss, and boost the immune system. It also contributes to a good pH balance in the body.  It's important to go organic on this, as apples are #1 on the list of fruits that have the most pesticide residue on them, according to the Environmental Working Group.  Check out these benefits of this wonderful ingredient.  I drink 2 ounces of Bragg's each morning in about 8 ounces of water. It helps ward off infection and doesn't taste bad in my opinion. I know the taste is strong for some, and some add a little bit of honey to the mix to make it sweeter.

Turmeric: Turmeric has long been used in Indian and Chinese medicine.  It has an element called curcumin which inhibits the growth of tumors, as well as the tumor's ability to spread to other parts of the body.  That is a huge one for me. If my cancer comes back, it means that it has spread to another part of my body. Scary. Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory.  I've read in some books (Anticancer by Dr. David Servan-Schrieber) that adding freshly ground black pepper enhances the medicinal benefits of turmeric. For more information, here are 20 reasons to incorporate turmeric into your diet.

Black Pepper: This spice is good for your digestion-it fights bacteria and lessens bloating and gas within your digestive tract. It also is full of anti-oxidants. Paired with turmeric, it is a cancer fighting machine!

I feel that when I have this dressing on a salad that is chock-full of a variety of vegetables, dark leafy greens, and maybe some beans or grains, that I am taking the fight to the enemy. And its delicious as well!  Give it a try. You may want to vary the proportions of the ingredients a bit. This is just what I've found works for my taste.  I also like to put a few squirts of Bragg's Liquid Amino's over the top just for good measure.

1 comment:

  1. Tonya...

    You are such a feisty, strong, amazing, beautiful and determined woman. I feel so very honored to know someone of such integrity and strength. We've come a long way since Alvarado and Rowland High School. You are always in my prayers... Your smile and your spirit truly inspire me.