I am a mom of four young girls. I love to run and be active. In March of 2007 I tested positive for BRCA1, a known breast and ovarian cancer causing gene. I met with genetic counselors and was given the advice to have an elective mastectomy and oophorectomy to ensure my health. I knew that was the only way. We decided to have one more baby before the surgeries. We had twin girls in October 2008. I had many sleepless nights just waiting and wondering when the cancer would strike. In May 2009, after reading about a whole foods plant-based diet, ("The China Study" and "Eat to Live"). I decided I will not have the elective surgeries. For now, I will use nutrition as my drug of choice. It's empowering to have this knowledge, and to be in charge of my family's health! I am so excited to learn more and share with you!.
(Newbie and my whole food hottie!)
WELCOME and CONGRATULATIONS! You have decided to start a journey that will change your life forever. I applaud you! There are so many great things to learn and we are all here to help you on your journey.
I know that these first few weeks can be some of the toughest, I have put together a quick list tips to help you! These are tips I often refer back to that help me stay in the game!
- READ! Get your hands on some good books! There are many great resources out there. We LOVE Dr Joel Fuhrmans, “Disease Proof your Child” and “Eat to Live”. “The China Study”by T Colin Campbell saved my life.. literally! We love that man at our house! Use great resources like our BLOG and others that we have listed on our home page. There are a lot of like-minded individuals out there. Find them. Come back often for support!
- DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET OVERWHELMED with the idea that there is nothing I can eat! There are so many delicious healthy foods out there. Start by just adding a new veggie or fruit to your plate a week or every day if you are feeling adventurous! Next make the veggies bigger portioned. Allow your children to get use to these new foods one or two at a time. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm them which can push them away and cause them to resist.
- PICK A FEW RECIPES that you are willing to try and go shopping! I took on a Joel Fuhrman recipe and ended up going to three different stores making a gourmet dinner that we all choked down. (sorry Dr F) We were too new to this diet, it took several hours to cook, and then no one liked it! That could’ve taken me down, but my husband was super supportive and he helped me stick to it. I know that some of you out there will have limited support, so I suggest taking on simple recipes for your first endeavors. Here are some FABULOUS examples:
Find a green smoothie recipe that works for you, we have several on our site, here is our basic recipe:
- TAKE TIME TO TEACH YOUR KIDS why and how these new foods are helping their bodies function better. Explain the benefits to them. They will start to notice and feel the changes in their own bodies with your help. Allowing them to be part of the process makes them feel important and not forced into something by MOM (or Dad)! Let them pick the veggie for the night, take them to the store and show them the variety in the produce section. If they are old enough, let them help you chop and cook! The more they take ownership of the meal, the more likely they are to eat it!
-DO NOT GIVE UP! We have all been there and we know that it can be a battle on the home front when the steamed veggies hit the table. Be patient with those cute kiddies. We are doing it for them. We are here to help and encourage you along your journey!
I am finally starting to feel settled into our new home town and getting into a routine. We have decided to start creating a few weekly meals that we can always count on. Our first choice was,of course, Taco Tuesdays! It only makes sense because we live in Texas now, home of the best tacos around, or so I hear. For this special night I created a new taco recipe. One that hopefully my kids will be able to cook on their own as they take turns helping with dinner nights. They gobbled it up and asked for more. It is a simply recipe and you can easily add more or less veggies as needed.
1 can black beans with juice
1 can pinto beans, drained
2 medium carrots chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 stalks of celery finely chopped
1 tbsp taco seasoning of your choice
1 tsp cumin
1 lime for juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or to taste
1/4 cup water
Place water in a large skillet on high, add onions and cooked for 3 minutes until clear. Add all remaining ingredients (*except lime and cilantro), cover, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until carrots are soft. Remove lid and turn off heat. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro, more if desired, and juice from one lime. Serve warm in soft or hard yellow corn taco shells.
OPTIONAL: Top with avocados, salsa, cilantro, and fresh lime.
Optional: Mix about 1 cup of cooked quinoa into the taco mix before serving to make it thick and add an extra protein boost!
I have recently moved to a new area and made several new friends. Two weeks ago one of my new friends was diagnosed with cancer and had an aggressive surgery to remove as much as they could. Of course I volunteered to help with whatever was needed, but I was surprised when I got a phone call asking for advice with how to eat to prevent any further complications. I was overjoyed that she would think to ask me and then I immediately was flushed with fear. I do not want to give false hope or over simplify the situation. I took a minute and sat down. I thought about how I felt when I first found out about the healing and health promoting power of foods. It can be so overwhelming and just so new. I made small list of Books, Movies, and Websites that could help her and her family on this journey when I can't be there to answer her questions. I wanted to just share that list with you. These are all great resources no matter where you are on your whole food journey and they serve many purposes in promoting a healthy lifestyle. Leave a comment if you want to add to the list of "must read/watch"
Forks over Knives
Hungry for Change
Fat, Sick, and nearly Dead
Websites (that compliment our own):
The China Study
Eat to Live
Engine 2 diet
Crazy Sexy Cancer
I know there are so many other great resources out there, please feel free to share in the comments what works for you to help keep you motivated on this journey!
It's been a busy couple of weeks at our place... I feel like a record on repeat saying that! I sure most of you can relate.
Last week I graduated from my 200 HR yoga teacher training in Hawaii!! It was an incredibly tough journey, but I am thrilled with all I have learned from my teacher and now have the chance to share. I wasn't planning on jumping into to the work force for a month or two, but a studio owner contacted me and needed a sub for the next 6 weeks! Wow, I'll take it! I start teaching tomorrow and I must say I am so excited to share what I have been practicing and learning for years. Say a little prayer for me (or send me your good vibes). If they like me the I get my own classes :)
On that note, I wanted to re post one of my very first attempts at converting my families favorite meal to be plant-based. I had veteran mommy by my side. Literally in my kitchen walking me through the substitute sauce. I am grateful to those (especially the other two mommies) who believe you must teach what you know!
This was once a chicken enchilada recipe now all plant-based and delish!!