Home » Cancer » Eating Well is the Best Revenge.

Eating Well is the Best Revenge.

All organic, fair trade, home made, fresh squeezed and freshly laid.

All organic, fair trade, home made, fresh squeezed and freshly laid.

I decided early on in this fight that I was going to use food as medicine. I mean, after all, I’m relying on my doctors to do their share. I can’t just passively sit here and hope for the best, right?

Right.

I started educating myself. How can I improve my odds and stay as healthy as possible, dodge as many side effects as possible and KILL THOSE cancer cells. I was woefully unprepared. I haven’t ever been really sick. I thought I had been, but I was mistaken. Boy, was I! But then I tried this dish. Julienne of Brussels sprouts, walnuts toasted in olive oil with roasted garlic. Sea salt, a tiny sprinkle of balsamic. Aahhh…heaven. Fast, healthy and delicious.

Julienne Brussels Sprouts

I needed to start reading. Learning. Studying. Asking. The only problem with that, is the shit was hitting the fan faster than I could dodge it. When you hear news this bad you sort of get tinnitus of the brain. There’s a ringing; monotonous, constant and sinister. You know the sound track? The girl is walking down a long, dark hallway, there are doors, there’s someone there, we know that, the soundtrack is one long, whining,low down,viola note. That’s what I heard for days. All that bad news and the drama, the surgery, the shock, the disbelief. The soundtrack from a shitty horror movie. You start to wonder ‘Wait wait wait, am I the smart girl with the pony tail who makes it out by killing the monster with a cleverly crafted coat hanger or am I the slutty bimbo with the tube top and the flashlight with weak batteries?’

It’s not like me to wonder.

I sort of lay there in the hospital for 10 days or so, recovering from my tinnitus and crafting my coat hanger. Trying to come to terms, which I REALLY did not want to do, NO TERMS, with what the next step was. I was all for avoidance. I mean, think about it. The dumb bimbo keeps going down the hall. She heard a noise. Could it be Larry with the bong? Lets go see.

Really? I don’t think so.

I would be more inclined to turn around and run away. So mentally, I did that. Now don’t think I’m a coward or that the pony tail girl is either. We have the right idea. You pick your battle, you find the high ground and you get your coat hanger ready.

I explained to my family that I needed time to pick my battle. I asked them not to talk to me about odds, statistics, facts or treatment. I needed to find my high ground and too much information was bound to bog me down. Now I just needed my weapon. My own little coat hanger.

It's all good. Beets, carrots, oranges, parsley, lime, ginger...

It’s all good. Beets, carrots, oranges, parsley, lime, ginger…

I have a wonderful brother, Martin, married to a smart, sassy lady named Lora. When they heard about my diagnosis there was not a days hesitation. They sent me a Green Star Juicer. The super deluxe model. Lora included a book by Kris Carr called Crazy Sexy Cancer-isn’t that the best title ever?-and her DVD and her Crazy Sexy Kitchen book. My co-workers bought me Cancer Fighting Kitchen, my Mom got me Clean Food. It seems my coat hanger was at hand.

Food is medicine.

I cut out most refined flour, all refined sugar, all preservatives, food coloring, dairy, most gluten, corn, most non organic vegetables and fruit, prepared or frozen foods, meat (because I can’t afford grass fed or organic meat-but I’ve been eyeballing our laying hens out in the yard in a very unhealthy way lately) I stopped drinking anything with sugar or artificial sweeteners, I stopped imbibing hard liquor-not that I drank much at all but I vowed to stick with a glass of ale or a glass of wine socially. I gave up dessert!

Except on chemotherapy days. There is a theory out there that refined sugar ‘wakes up’ cancer cells, allowing the poison -oops, I mean the infusion-to do its work more effectively. It postulates that by NOT eating healthy just for that one day, by waking up the cells you’ve effectively put to sleep, it helps kill them. And I get an eclair. So I love the idea, but is it right? I asked Dr. Thrall and she said if they knew that, if they could prove anything at all about cancer related nutrition, she would have told me herself. Humph…doctors. On the other hand, she said, I was totally on the right track, eating healthy was just smart as hell, none of that crap I cut out of my diet was HELPING me get healthy, so go for it.

I took that to mean that having an eclair was okay once a week. It wouldn’t kill me, but it might make me feel better. My coat hanger turned into an eclair. Or could it be juice? I’d rather have an eclair but…

My coat hanger.

I started juicing every morning that I could. It’s not cheap. I have no money. Not that I’m complaining, much. Ive come to realize that there are people out there who are much much worse off than I am. I started going to my local supermarket and asking for trim. It’s what they cut off the lettuce and chard and kale and broccoli to make it nice. They usually toss it or, if they’re cool, compost it. Sometimes there are bruised apples or limp carrots, just whatever isn’t pretty. They toss it in a banana box and chuck it out. Until I came along. Smiling smiling, asking for trim please. At first I was embarrassed. I told them it was for chicken food. Now, I don’t care. They know me now. They know what I’m doing. I’m eating it. I’m juicing it. I’m saving my life.

The food bank is a gift from heaven. Co-ops, farmers markets, don’t be shy! Go ask. Get friends to ask. Tell those people what’s going on. Give them a chance to help you. Tell them the truth. Money is always an issue when you’re not working and there’s a good chance that they know that. Keep at it. Find out the name of the produce manager because he’s the one that will approve the transaction. If he says he can’t do it, go to the store manager. Ask ask ask…if they can’t, god bless them and move onto the next store. Eventually you’ll find one. I found one. With their help this is one of my favorite juices.

Laura’s Indulgence

1 Beet, 4 carrots, 1 apple, 2 celery stalks, a little piece of ginger and a squeeze of lemon. That’s an indulgence because there is a lot of sugar in beets, carrots and apples.

Usually I try and green juice. Chard, kale, celery, ginger, lettuce, parsley, lemon.

Not too much ginger. Maybe a knob about 1/2 ” or so at first. It’s really really good for you, raw ginger, but super strong tasting.

Put it in the juicer and let ‘er rip. Then hold your nose and gulp it down. To me juice should be sweet but…my goodness. Nothing is going off the planet, child. Just do this for yourself, just for a little while, sharpen your coat hanger and get ready.

Now? Believe it or not I’m kind of liking it. I still hate taking the juicer apart and cleaning it but I do it. I still would like to have a

Carrot Apple Smoothie

1 nice green apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup of carrot juice
1 cup of orange juice
2 tsp of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of honey

Freeze the carrot and orange juice in an ice cube tray or just put it in a Baggie and lay it flat in the freezer, works faster. I juice extra in the morning and freeze it. Then just put everything in a blender and blend it smooth. I also add whey protein and a scoop of green multivitamin powder once in awhile, just to keep protein levels up since I had to quit meat.

Today my sister made me and my nephews the simplest most delicious ice cream smoothie ( that’s how thick it was! )

It was frozen strawberries-yes they came from the ‘compost’ box- a little milk, maple syrup and lemon juice. She put it in a food processor and VOILA strawberry smoothie ice cream…boy, I’m really getting the hang of this. I think it could become a habit.

[caption id="attachment_3297" align="aligncenter" width="808"]Tastes good, too. Tastes good, too.

So, here I am, the soundtrack of my life is from a horror movie and yet, I don’t feel like the tube top girl anymore. Well, at least not often. I have my own weapon, I fashioned it carefully and I’m hiding at the top of the stairs. Just try to get me…

My  hero!

My hero!

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6 thoughts on “Eating Well is the Best Revenge.

    • Thanks! I’ve said it somewhere here, I’m sure, that I’ve never been healthier or felt worse. Hah! I just keep picking away at it. I don’t love mung beans, but they are so good for you. So I eat them. Cooked with lots of curry and spice. I don’t love brown rice and beans but they are so good for you. And cheap. So I eat them. With lots of spice. I made pickled peppers a couple weeks ago that I just tried today. Really HOT! But they’re good for you, so I ate them…god is there anything I won’t eat?

  1. So true. The hardest part has been, probably always will be, asking for help. Pride? I don’t know. I grew up poor so I got used to doing everything myself. I prefer self sufficient. The eating healthy part is easy. Just don’t bring it in the house. This is why I love your blog. I can dream, can’t I.

  2. I love the words “fair trade.” They just sing to me.
    Brilliant post, Ms. L! I love the carrot apple combination, though I’ll admit I was a skeptic at first…:) #sheepish

  3. This hit a big chord – my mother co-wrote a book on eating during chemo…Healthy Eating During Chemotherapy by Jose Van Mil and Christine Mackenzie- Archer. Very similar thoughts – fresh, wholesome..and then a few recipes for when it hurts to eat..I’m sure you know what I mean. Will see if I can get my hands on a copy x

There is no sin except stupidity.

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