Cancer

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.

 


Praise Changes Things!

Live in an atmosphere of praise!  It changes things!  As I am writing my book, I am so reminded about this.  When I lay on my couch, Nov.2/06 at 79 lbs, thinking that I was breathing my last breath, I began to praise God.  My friend, Mary, had sent me a CD from Joshua Mills, entitled Praise Changes the Atmosphere.  Wow!  I was so impacted by that CD and here I am today.  I am well and enjoying my life.  And I know, it is because God raised me up.

I cannot stress enough the importance of praising God in everything.  We often take the everyday things for granted.  But, nothing happens to us by chance.  If we are a child of God, then He is watching over and seeing to every little detail of our life.  There are times, when praise is the last thing that we want to do. I know, I've been there.  But that is exactly the time that we must.  I believe that is when it becomes what the Bible says "a sacrifice of praise".  It wasn't easy, but as I acted in obediance to what God said, he filled not only my heart with praise but my mouth as well.  I became aware of all the things that I had to be thankful for and joy filled my heart.  So let's be a people of praise!  Let's change the world we live in!  Let's be a peculiar people!


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.

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.


Chia - a superfood

One of the foods that I recently mentioned, as being a superfood, is chia.   It has a light nutty taste, is odourless and easy to add to recipes.  I add it to my yogurt or oatmeal in the morning.  I sprinkle it in my salads and add it to muffins.  Chia seeds contain 20% protein with all essential amino acids, which makes for a good vegetal protein alternative with high nutritional, economic and versatile value.  

Chia is the richest non-marine whole food source of omega-3 and dietary fiber currently known to man.  It is nutritionally superior to flax, which I have regularly used for omega-3.  Omega-3 is extremely important for our health.  One study I read said that many people are deficient in omega-3. 

According to the American Heart Association, Omega-3 fatty acids can normalize blood pressure, while helping promote healthy heart and blood vessels.  Diets that include chia seeds dramatically lower the levels of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase the level of HDL (good) cholesterol and Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.

Chia also helps strengthen muscles and bones with 6 times more calcium than milk.

Chia can absorb a whopping 12 times its weight in water, while flax seed only absorbs 6-8 times its weight.

Chia´s insoluble fiber reduces digestive transit time and removes toxins as it passes through the digestive tract.

Chia´s high fiber content and its ability to reduce blood sugar levels after meals inhibits the appetite, thus making it the perfect food for healthy, effective weight loss.

And finally, chia seeds contain chlorgenic acid and caffeic acid, and coumaric acid and caffeic acid are found in chia oil; these are antioxidants that play a major role in cancer prevention. 

So, there you have it, the facts that I have researched about chia.  I think one can easily agree that chia is indeed a superfood.


Superfoods

I have just finished reading a book by David Wolfe that talks about the 10 best superfoods.  I thought the list might include such foods as broccoli, spinach, blueberries, fish, etc.  But I was surprised to learn that none of those foods were included.  Instead he spoke about maca, chia seeds, goji berries, hemp hearts and cacao nibs, to name a few.  Frankly, I had not heard of them, let alone try them.  So I started researching a little and I couldn't believe the nutrients that some of these foods contain.  Also included in the list were spirulina, chlorella, coconut and honey, especially bee pollen and royal jelly. 

Presently, I do eat many different foods that I know to contain a good source of nutrients.  Foods like quinoa, miso, kamut and spelt have graced my table for years. I try to eat whole foods and avoid processed food as much as possible.  But as I have begun to add some of the superfoods above, I have noticed a big difference in my energy level, and I find I don't get hungry in between meals.  As a bonus I have noticed less stiffness all over and less joint pain. I can only think that my body is receiving nutrients that it has been missing for a while.