Health

Do you brush your skin?

When I had lymphoma cancer, one of the things I used to do regularly was skin brushing.  I read that it was important to keep the lymphatic system moving and not let it remain sluggish, as it often is with many cancers.  So I did it, along with bouncing on a rebounder.  However, I haven't been as faithful lately.  But, after watching the following video on you tube, I am reminded again of the importance for everyone, not just me or people like me who have or have had cancer.  This video correctly describes how to skin brush and why.  The information that she gives is life giving.  You can copy and paste the following link in your browser and I hope you do.

http://youtu.be/AZfMhXsjXeQ

 


Are we accumlating wealth only to spend it on our health?

"Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health."

I imagine you have heard or seen this quote before; but now, that I am retired, I have been thinking about the absurdity and the truth in this statement.  As we age, our bodies begin showing signs of disease like high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, arthritis, and cancer; just to name a few.  If you have a health plan and follow exactly what the doctor prescribes; then you may fare well.  However, what if you don't have a plan or you decide to treat your disease without the doctor's prescription drugs. You can spend a lot of your own hard earned money, seeking alternative ways to get well. 

Does it have to be this way?  Of course, the answer should be no; but more often than not it is yes.

So, what can we do.  We could lobby for more money but alas governmental funding is already being pulled everywhich way.  We need to do something now, to prevent the onset of disease and to even reverse it.

That something is to take responsibility for your own health.  True enough certain diseases are hereditary; but more often than not a case can be made to prove it's not always so.  What does seem to be hereditary is lifestyle or eating habits.  I have a book entitled, We Are What We Eat that I bought when I was first diagnosed with cancer.  However, since then, I have realized, that a better title would  be We Become What We Eat.  You could also say We Become What We Do or What We Think. 

First and foremost, we all know the health benefits of exercise.  It can help protect you from the above mentioned diseases, relieves back pain and the effects of osteoporosis, can improve your mood and general well-being.

Secondly, we are all aware of the importance of relieving stress in our lives.  Being at rest or at peace with yourself and getting a good night's sleep allows your own body's natural defenses to do their job.

And last but not least, let's look at what we are eating.  Once again, we all know that we should cut back on white flours and their products, eliminate our intake of sugar, increase foods with fibre and drink lots of water.  We are even told to buy organic if you can afford it. This is all good advice. 

But recently, I have been reading about the importance of eating food that is locally grown or even grown in your own garden, as opposed to food that has travelled miles and miles across our country.  Think about this, the food we eat can actually change our DNA over time.  So let's start taking care of our health now so that we can enjoy our lives later.

 


Pain

I read an interesting article by Philip Yancey today talking about pain.  In summary, Philip suggests that pain can either turn us away from God or turn us toward God.  I think that is a true statement.   None of us like pain and we may even ask why there is so much of it in life.  As Christians, we can blame it all on the "Fall" (Adam and Eve), but that doesn't offer much help or seem relevant for our pain today.  We still would like to know why God continues to allow such pain and suffering. 

First, I believe that it was all a part of God's plan.  In my case, God used the pain to draw me closer to Him.  Nothing around me seemed to matter when I found out I had cancer.  At first, I didn't want to see anyone; but I sure did talk to God.  I'm not sure I was all that pleasant either; but I knew He would listen and not interrupt.  God did eventually lead me to what I should do; but not until I had vented all my anger and frustrations. 

Secondly, I believe it is because He loves us so much.  What, you say?  Hear me out.  If you love someone, you want the best for them.  God wants the best for us.  The best is what He has planned for us.  It is what we were created for.  Sometimes, we need a wake up call to discover what that is.  I know I did.  I can't say that I have arrived or that I've got it all figured out.  But I can say that I am a whole lot more at peace with myself and my life.

Thirdly, I believe it is to prepare us for the future events that will surely come as the Word of God tells us.  There is coming a time of great tribulation that will make it extremely difficult for believers of Christ to exist.  Perhaps, we will not be here, because we will be taken away in the rapture.  I don't know, Bible scholars can't even agree.  But I do know, this is a time to put oil in our lamps, in other words to build relationship with our creator, God, so that we will be ready for whatever happens in the future.

So, even though we do not want to embrace pain, we need to look at it from different perspective and see what is in it for us.


Mosquitos

I am never bothered by mosquitos in Sidney; but here, in Ontario they are a nuisance.  The question then becomes, what do you do to avoid being a bug's dinner?  Most insect repellants are loaded with toxic chemicals, of which DEET is one.  I do not wish to purposely put any known chemical on my body. 

Years ago, when we were travelling across Canada on our motorcycle, we came upon a campground that was making and selling an insect repellant by the name of "Bite Me!"  It was made from essential oils and it worked.  I have never been able to find it again.

But the good news is there is a spray called Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellant that contains essential oils.  There is also a push-up stick that you rub on your skin called Badger Anti-Bug Balm which contains 100% USDA organic essential oils.  Even better news is that both are completely safe even for children and pets.  They are also paraben free, phthalate free and ph balanced.   Now, I need to find these products here in London, Ont

However, if I can't find either of these, I just might make my own.  Here is an all natural recipe that I found.

Combine the following essential oils:

1/2 ounce citronella oil or peppermint oil
1/4 ounce lavender oil 
1/8 ounce tea tree oil
1/8 ounce jojoba oil or almond oil – preferably organic

Dilute in 16 ounces of  witch hazel and pour in a squirt or spray bottle. As a general rule, do not use essential oils undiluted.

Have fun and don't let the bugs bite!


Parsley

Parsley looks nice as a garnish on the side of your plate.  But, have you ever wondered about the benefits of parsley?   For one, it supposedly helps to freshen your breath.  But did you know that parsley provides plenty of antioxidant power.  Further, and more importantly, parsley contains volatile oil components that have been shown to inhibit tumor formation, partiularly in the lungs.  You can read more at livestrong.com - an article about parsley juice and lung cancer.  The research from the University of Missouri also claims that parsley is an important food to digest if you have breast cancer.

Having said that, I have included a couple of recipes to help you consume more parsley.  The first one I found was called 

The Body Can Heal Itself Juice
 
5 Carrots
4 Handfuls of Fresh Spinach
1 Handful of Fresh Parsley
4 Sticks of Celery

Juice all ingredients and serve.

This recipe is taken from the The Diva's Guide to Juices and Cocktails available from The Raw Diva Store.

Another recipe I found was from Kalyn's Kitchen

Carrot and Parsley Salad

6 medium sized carrots, peeled, then grated
1 bunch parsley, chopped fine (about 1 cup chopped parsley)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Peel carrots, then grate coarsely, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater. Wash parsley, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then chop finely with food process or chef's knife. Put carrots and parsley in mixing bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, then mix into salad. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I barely used any salt). Serve immediately.
This recipe has been adapted from Bistro Carrot Salad in Jack Bishop's book Vegetables Every Day.

Eating Right?

Well, I have been here (in Ontario) for almost a month now and I am gaining some weight.  Why is that you say?  I can only say that it is very difficult to eat properly, when you are visiting.  I keep it simple and eat mostly whole foods when I am at home.  I shop daily, make green smoothies and eat lots of salads.  That is not always an option when you are a guest at someone's home.  Wynn and I have been visiting lots of family and friends and thoroughly enjoying ourselves.  But it seems that everyone loves to serve special treats and they are ending up around my middle.  Help!  I don't seem to have the will power to say "No, thanks!"  The problem is that I do like sweets.  At home, I don't buy or even make sweets; but here, they are readily available.  Not only that, I have even been eating potato chips.  I would never eat them at home.  And it isn't because I am hungry.  What gives!  Why am I concerned?  And why do I feel guilty? 

It is because I know that what we eat has everything to do with our health.  When I found out that I had lymphoma cancer, my research convinced me to become a vegan.  I was overjoyed after a 2nd CT scan, 6 mos. later, showed that the tumors were beginning to shrink.  I also feel guilty because I know that I do the same thing when people come to visit me.  I make special desserts and offer more food than I would normally eat at any given meal.

What is it about food, that when people get together, it becomes the focal point?  In addition, aren't we all just a little guilty of overeating when we get together?  If anyone out there has any thoughts about this, I would like to hear them.

 


Life

I just read a quote by Elbert Hubbard and I had to laugh.  It said, "Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive."

In the years before cancer, that was definitely not me. I took everything seriously.  Having cancer and now being a survivor has most certainly made me rethink about how I view life.  Why is it that people get so bent out of shape about so many things?  Why does everything have to be just so?  Or, even worse, why does it have to be my way?  I have learned to step back and ask myself, "Will it matter a year from now, a month from now, a week from now or even tomorrow?"  If I can honestly answer "No" to any of those questions; then I really don't need to worry.  I can live my life without trying to please everyone and at the same time not expect everyone else around to please me.  I can be myself and allow others to be themselves as well.


Cancer and Your Memories

I just finished watching a video about cancer and the real reason some people get cancer and others never will.  Along the same thought, some will survive cancer and others never will.  Although the video is advertising an e-book about the topic; it was very informative.  It made a lot of sense to me and touched on some of the areas in my life that I had worked on to clean up and clear out.  Dr. Ben Johnson states that internal issues are the real cause of cancer and he goes on to explain why.  I was particularly interested in the research that says all of our cells have memories; not just our brains cells.  Imbedded in your cell memories is everything that has ever happened or occurred in your life.  Even traumatic events that we may have forgotten are imprinted in our cells DNA. These events can be emotional as well as physical.  These events transmit negative patterns to the bodies cells and shuts down the immune system. 

The video is only 9 minutes long and you can watch it here:.
http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=168392&AdID=540590


Cancer and Your Lifestyle

Today as I was driving to pick up my grandchildren from school, I couldn't help but notice the blue sky above.  It was filled with puffy white clouds and the sun was warm and bright.  Suddenly, I realized that at this precise moment in time, I didn't have a care in the world.  It was shut out by the beauty that surrounded me.  Immediately, my thoughts went to how much I have to be thankful for.  The more I thought, the longer the list became.

I'm alive and I feel good.  I am healthy and well.  I have a great husband.  I have 2 wonderful daughters and son-in-laws. I have 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons.  I have caring friends.  I have hair, etc.  You see, in 2001, I was told that I had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer, Stage 3 and had only 6-9 mos. to live, if I did not take the traditional chemo treatment.  And here I am, it is 2011.  Life is good.

Looking back I can see the hand of God so clearly in my life.  Back then, I wondered if the above day would ever be a part of my life.  There is quite a story as to how I arrived at this day; which is why, after saying I would, actually beginning and then setting it aside, I have decided to devote the next year to completing my story in book form.

But for now, I will just say that your lifestyle is very important and plays a vital part in your recovery.  By that I mean, first and foremost, your attitude.  Being thankful, forgiving others and loving yourself are all major players in your road to recovery.  In addition to the type of treatment you choose, you can choose how you will live your life through this journey.


David Wolfe

Last night was the big night with David Wolfe and he did not disappoint.  It was well worth the admission price, and even the parking fee.  However, It was a little stressful when I and a few others came out at 11:30 p.m. to find our cars were locked in the parking garage.  Who knew it closed at 10:00 p.m?   As the event was to be over at 9:00 p.m., none of us thought to check what time the garage closed.  We could not find any way in or any one to phone.  Fortunately, for us, someone came out with his car and as he did, we rushed in under the iron gate to get ours.  At home later, one paid the parking fee on line. 

Back to the event.  David's presentation, although very long, was so informative.  After listening to him speak, I came away convinced that I have to change a few things.  No.1 is the water that I am drinking.  B.C. and the island have several places where you can get natural spring water and I think that is what I am going to do.  Not sure how Wynn will feel about that!  It probably means buying a big jug and then we/I am going to have to lug it to the car and back home.  Where will I keep it?  How long will it last?  But I am convinced from this presentation that if I can only do one thing right now for my health and longevity, it would be to drink fresh spring water that I collect myself.  No.2. I need to get out in nature, in the wild, more often, or at least the many natural parks around here.  I also need to expose my skin to more sunlight and according to David walk in my bare feet more.  Really?  Yes, it apparently grounds us, literally, and of course we need the vitamin D.  Now,  I'm not really an outdoors type person; I don't really enjoy gardening.  I don't even sit outside, often, because I always have something to do.   Perhaps, this next time I retire, that will change.  Well, at the very least, I have Chloe who begs me to take her for a walk.

David spoke at length about the importance of eating living whole foods, not foods, cooked, steamed, boiled, baked, radiated and then irradiated.  He showed slides of the energy found in many whole foods raw and then the same food cooked.  The difference was remarkable.  The theory is that you could eat less food and still have the same amount of energy, not to mention more vitamins and minerals.  I'm totally convinced and yet I know how much work it would be for me, especially in the beginning, to eat only raw food.  Admittedly, David cautioned us that there are imbalances eating only raw food.  For a short time, possibly 3-6 months, it's great for detoxifying your body.  I submit that is why he recommends that one include superfoods into your diet regularly.  As I have been doing some of that and have been feeling very good about it, I shall continue to do so.  Superfoods like chia seeds, maca, hemp seeds, cacao, honey and its products, spirulina, deep green algae, etc.  can easily be included into your diet.

David also praised the value of herbs for their medicinal properties. He gave many examples of herbs that can be used to better our health, such as ashwaganda, red clover, astragulus root, chammomile, sheep sorrel, etc. and especially horsetail and nettle. Thankfully, the last two teas are in my group of herbal teas! I was surprised to learn that echinacea should only be used when we are treating some illness and not regularly.  As an avid herbal tea drinker, himself, he advised us to steep the teas and not boil them.  Many of these herbs you can grow or find in nature or at the very least your local health stores.  (Yup, that's where I find them.)

There is a lot more that I could say and perhaps I will in another post.  But for now, I will just add how very impressed I was with his energy.  He has a great sense of humour and his delivery of the topic was very entertaining.  Despite being a little stiff from sitting (4 hrs.) I could have listened to him even more.  He's like a walking encyclopedia on the topic of good food nutrition.  I found his talk to be very truthful and straightforward.  He seemed very approachable and willing to answer all questions.  His responses were remarkably candid, as well.