The following is a personal story written by Amy, an ambassador of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer. Below she shares how focusing on her diet and the foods she eats gave her back control over her life. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam and connect with other women who ‘get it.’ Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a life altering experience. I felt so out of control that I desperately needed to find something that I could control. My diet was one of the few things I could think of that may have a serious impact on my survival and something I had some control over. I made a decision to rethink what to put in my body. From what I’ve read, cancer thrives in a low oxygen, acidic environment which occurs in a body that does not distribute oxygen well (lack of exercise) and one that consumes a lot of processed, fried, nutrient deficient with excess sugar, fat and salt. Eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish will create a more alkaline environment and starve the cancer cells from proliferation. So here are some useful tips on eating healthy and why I try hard so to do so.
For breakfast, I start out my day with an organic green smoothie. I usually use kale, spinach, or dandelion as my greens. I add celery, cucumber and what other veggies I might have at home. I put in flax-seeds or fish oil for omega-3 needs, a handful of nuts, kefir as my probiotic and protein, an apple or frozen berries (I like to use these fruits because they have low sugar), and ½ cup of coconut water and ½ cup of pomegranate juice. I find these smoothies are delicious, packed with raw nutrients and live enzymes that my body needs. Because my body doesn’t have to digest these foods, my body can absorb the nutrients more efficiently and give my digestive system a break. I find it easy to get a lot of whole foods at once.
I also started drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily. According to Dr. Kristi Funk at Pink Lotus Breast Center it reduces breast cancer risk by 50 percent. Chemicals in green tea called poly-phenols appear to inhabit tumor cell growth and migration. It was a simple change that may have a great impact.
My other daily regimen is adding turmeric to my diet. It’s an inexpensive orange-colored spice imported from India. It is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidants out there. There are hundreds of good articles on turmeric including one from the American Cancer Society. I often add it to my eggs, smoothies, soups, and salads.
Eating less processed foods and eating more organic whole foods can mean more cooking at home. It isn’t always easy with two small children. It takes additional planning, shopping, and prepping. I find it satisfying and quite often the food tastes better than eating out. So with my cancer, I have a new passion…cooking!
I am dedicated to eating healthy and it is a lot of work. But after a while, it becomes part of your life style. It doesn’t mean I won’t have desserts or go for some potato chips on occasion. In my opinion, an anti-cancer diet regimen won’t cure cancer or guarantee that it won’t reoccur. But it is one of the most important pieces to complete one’s health that I can control. My goal is to increase my chance for long-term survival. I can’t control everything about my cancer, but I feel empowered by what I can put in my body and give my cells the nutrients they need to keep my cancer at bay. I get to take control over what to feed my cells every time I eat and I’m thankful for that opportunity.
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