Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat. I read that somewhere recently and it seriously is the way we should look at food. I know I’ve taken a hard look at nutrition lately and what I allow myself to consume.
I’ve had a lot of messages and interest in what I’m doing, foods I’m eating and supplements and vitamins I am currently using. So this will post will be a little about those things that I am personally using and how I am feeling since incorporating these changes. It’s a lifestyle change, yes….but more than that, it’s a change in the way you look at food and nutrition overall and how it affects you daily.
Let me start by saying, I’m a southern girl and I do love some country cooking. Meat and potatoes were a staple at our house and it’s still two of my favorite things in the world. But so were fresh picked corn and green beans and garden vegetables. I love most vegetables and I thought I was eating well by including those in my meals every day – but I’ve come to the realization that it’s all about how you cook them that makes them so good FOR you! You can’t slather them in butter or bacon grease and cook them to death if you want to retain the nutritional value of vegetables. I know….no bacon grease or fat back can really stink! Nobody can cook cabbage like my Mama. I do love it when she cooks “a boiled pot”…full of cabbage and potatoes and cornmeal dumpling’s! It don’t get much better than that! And her famous fried lace cornbread is the cherry on top! So good!!!!!
But here’s where things go sideways for most American families these days. We’re busy. We have demanding jobs, some with long hours. We have ballgames and practice and church obligations and social calendars that are full. So we go for what is quick and easy – and that’s the worst thing in the world you can do for your body. Most processed foods are quick and fairly inexpensive. So the majority of households these days, depend on that in order to feed their families. And nearly all processed foods have genetically modified or bio-engineered food ingredients in them. Research has shown that GMO ingredients just are not good for you. Have you noticed the price difference in organic vegetables and non-organic? Or how about the price difference in frozen or canned vegetables vs. fresh, whole, organic vegetables? It’s sad that most families who may WANT to eat healthier can’t afford it. Even at fast food chains, the healthier versions cost more. The truth is, we do what is easier, faster, and cheaper because that’s what most of us have had to do. I know I fed my son many frozen meals or quick and easy things because I was tired or because we had somewhere to be an hour after I got off work. The struggle is real for so many. And for me, it was detrimental to my health. I’ve struggled with my weight pretty much my entire life – now I know that my thyroid probably played a part in that, long before I ever knew what a thyroid was. But for the most part, it’s been about choices. Now, I haven’t lost a ton of weight since I changed the way I eat. But in the last few months, I have lost about 14 lbs. And the truth is, it’s not 24/7 for me. A couple of times a month, I may go out and splurge. Last weekend while out with my sisters, I had Shrimp and Grits – one of my favorites!
I started following Dr. Livingood on Facebook a few months ago. If you have ever watched any of his videos you learn a little about his background and why he is so passionate about the healthcare industry. He calls it sick care – and I tend to agree. Our Doctor’s tend to treat our symptoms, but they don’t find the cause or fix the problem and that’s just one more reason why YOU are the only one who is in control of your health! And honestly, when we make our way to the pharmacy for that symptom fix, Big Pharma makes a boatload of money off us! They profit from us being sick! Now, I’m the first to say that I am glad that I have thyroid meds since I no longer have a thyroid because without it, I would be dead! But I’m talking about things we CAN control! Blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease, CANCER and the list goes on and on. YES, you can beat these things with diet and nutrition and exercise and faith and positive thinking! Now trust me when I say, I have had a few nay-sayers lately. They think maybe I’ve gone off the deep end or maybe I should do the surgery FIRST and worry about all this other “non-sense” afterwards….. but that’s missing the whole point!
Let’s get real for a second. Here’s how my surgeon described how this surgery will go. First, it’s robotic surgery (most people might think precision – I think, ummmm no.) They will go in through my mouth and cut into the left side of my throat in order to get to, and remove the mass. Things that could go wrong: My carotid artery that runs to my brain is RIGHT THERE. So, I could have a stroke or a bleed. I could have issues with chewing and swallowing and speaking. I could have more nerve damage on that side of my face that I have worked SO HARD to overcome – and I’m still self conscious about it. Now, he did say that these things don’t happen often but I have a lot of scar tissue, and three other surgeries under my belt that make doing this any other way, much more invasive and with more lasting nerve damage that I won’t be able to repair this time. That’s a No for me….channeling my inner Simon Cowell! Hehe!
I was serious about doing this my way after I heard all that. I was somewhat curious and serious before that – but AFTER that visit, knowing my antibodies had already decreased some, I was ALL IN. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It’s hard and you have to think through your week ahead and when you will need to prep for meals, and have stuff on hand for juicing or smoothies. It can be time consuming….and people who already have a full schedule and busy life, find it difficult to maintain. I’m the world’s worst for sticking to things. But this time is different. I made up my mind that I do not want to live with cancer any more. I REFUSE to live with it any more – and guess what? It’s not up to the doctor or my surgeon or anyone else. It’s up to me. My body – my choice.
So what am I doing? I eat mainly whole, fresh, organic vegetables. I don’t eat meat every day….maybe once or twice a week. If I do eat meat, I eat chicken – free range, organic, no antibiotic chicken or occasionally I will have a piece of fish – Salmon, mainly. I don’t deep fry anything. I eat some of my veggies raw – because in their natural state, you get more of the good stuff. If I cook them, normally, I stir fry in a tad bit of organic olive oil or avacado oil. If I have bread, I choose organic breads or whole grains. Dave’s Killer Bread is my favorite and it’s Non-GMO certified. For lunch most days, I have a smoothie made with Dr. Livingood greens. Sometimes I add a handful of berries and sometimes I don’t. I use organic honey or Manuka Honey to sweeten my smoothies. I also add Dr. Livingood’s Collagen and Joint Support to my smoothies because I also have spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. I can’t tell you what a difference that has made in my back pain. It still hurts but it’s no longer debilitating.
I drink lots of water – and mid morning, I use Dr. Livingood’s High Dose Vitamin C powder in a glass. Mid-afternoon, I have a cup of hot green tea – I use Bigelow’s or Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant with a teaspoon of raw organic honey. I should mention that the greens powder has 1800 mg of organic greens (spirulina, chlorella, and barley grass), 183 mg of organic veggies, 903 mg of Antioxidants, 500 mg of fiber and prebiotics, 700 mg of organic flax seed powder, 200 mg of digestive enzyme blend, tons of probiotics, Anti-inflammatory blend ingredients such as tumeric, red beet powder and milk thistle to name a few, digestive support blend ingredients and some detox support as well. This stuff nourishes your CELLS. And that’s where health begins. If you have sick cells, you WILL be sick. Inflammation is one of the biggest and most common causes of illness in this country. If you want to get rid of that, you gotta fix yourself at the cellular level – and that means getting rid of all the toxins and filling your body with nutrition that feeds those cells what they need in order to be healthy. And let me just throw in a disclaimer – I am not an affiliate marketer for Dr. Livingood products. I make no money on this blog. But his products really have changed my life and his book opened my eyes to what it takes to be healthy.
Now, the NUMBER ONE cancer fighter in the world, is VITAMIN D. Can you believe that?? Thousands of studies that you can look up online yourself in pub med or in other medical journals – show that Vitamin D actually fights those cells. The Vitmain D I am taking, is of course, from Dr. Livingood – but if you take Vitamin D, just make sure it’s a good one. I was taking vitamin D from Walmart for years. And guess what? Alot of vitamins on the market in our grocery stores are made by Big Pharma. With tons of fillers. Crap. Huh. Who knew?? Dr. Livingood’s Vitamin D has K2, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, a Probiotic Blend, and Organic Coconut MCT Oil! I cannot tell you how much of a difference this Vitamin D has made in me.
Listen, I am not nearly as knowledgable as I want to be. I’m constantly reading and watching videos and chatting with people who are on the same journey I am on and it’s time consuming – but it’s enlightening, and it’s amazing and so inspiring hearing from people who have beat cancer and ALS and MS and all kinds of diseases NATURALLY! Think about it – God put all these herbs and nutritious food on this earth just for us! He put it here to help us live healthy, full lives. But here’s the kicker: You GOTTA WANT IT. You gotta give it all you’ve got and you’ve gotta BELIEVE that what you are doing is good for you and is necessary for you to live a healthy, long life.
And most importantly for me, I have to trust that God is leading me in this journey to find and live a healthy life. I know in my heart He is guiding me right now – that He is placing people and things in my life that are good for me. He is leading me away from negativity and stress and giving me the desire to DO better and BE better. No doubt about that at all. I talk to myself with love and kindness. I tell myself many times a day, I am healthy, I am well, I am healed – AND I BELIEVE that is my reality. No surgery for this chick. And no more cancer. I’m kicking it to the curb this time and I’m not looking back at that old life. I love myself for the first time in a very long time. I love what I am doing for ME. Not for anyone else – but I’m not doing it alone. God is beside me the whole way – and I have the best and most supportive family and friends and co-workers I could ever ask for. I am blessed beyond measure, no doubt.
I just want to say to those of you who are struggling with this disease – or any disease. Do some research. Find what works for you and makes you want to do more and be better. The rest will fall into place. What works for me, may not work for you – but at least take the time to do your own research and don’t just take the pill or the chemo or whatever just because you think it’s your only option! It’s not. And if you decide to go with traditional medicine, your doctor will tell you that you need to eat well, sleep well and exercise in order to lessen the side effects of treatment. It’s a proven fact. I’m not anti-radiation or anti-chemo. I just don’t have those options. You cannot give up and sit on the couch and wait to die. I just know that the changes I have made in my life, have had a huge difference in how I feel physically, mentally and spiritually. They have changed me at the core and I am so very thankful that I followed my gut. God will give you that nudge and show you what you need to do and where to go if you just stop and be still long enough to listen. Trust me, it’s most defintely a journey worth walking.
Be blessed yall.
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