I couldn't think of a better time to share with you what has been going on in my life than in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
A few months ago my life went into a tail spin and my entire world changed. My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The woman who had always been the back bone of our family and the one who always held down the fort was now faced with a life altering disease. Somehow she took the news better than I did and decided that she was going to fight. She has always been a fighter so that came as no surprise. After a few surgeries and now starting chemo in a few weeks she is on (what I would like to call) the road to recovery.
In my world (my mind) cancer was never supposed to hit that close to home. It was always happening to someone else. You know one of those “I will say a prayer for you and your family” situations. Now suddenly we were the family everyone was praying for. I got angry, I cried, I didn’t understand… why my Mom?
After doing a lot of research on cancer the question in my mind changed to…. Why not my Mom, why not me… why not all of us? It’s amazing how many people you meet along the way to a cancer free life that have had cancer or are in the middle of the battle. It’s terrifying when you realize how many people have had or have cancer.
I decided that if my Mom was going to take cancer head on then I was going to take on cancer fighting from the front line head on. What does that mean right? I started analyzing our life as I grew up and what changed in her life in the last year and a half since her last clean mammogram. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what had changed or even happened that might have caused my Mom to get breast cancer.
Obviously it could have been nothing, it just happened, but I couldn’t take a chance on that. I know you can’t necessary prevent cancer and I know information on cancer changes daily. One day a hotdog will give you cancer the next day it’s cranberry sauce. I don’t really pay any mind to that kind of information because I always feel like it’s just another research company reaching for anything and trying to stir something up.
I decided the best way I could make changes in the life of our family was to make changes to the food we eat and to the chemical intake into our bodies. I started doing research on things I knew my Mom ate. She would eat a can of soup each day for lunch. In that research (and thanks to my best friend Natalie) I found out that most soup cans are lined with BPA’s which is a chemical that has been linked to breast cancer, and MANY other things. What if my Mom’s cancer came from all of the soup she was eating on a daily bases? Here is a study from Harvard University that shows someone who eats soup from a can for 5 days in a row has an increased BPA level in their urine and blood 1000%. WOW that is huge!
Another thing that hit me was all the aspartame we have been eating since I was a child. My Mom is a diabetic, and I have always battled my weight so growing up EVERYTHING we had was sugar free, Jell-O, Pudding, Soda (Diet Coke is my vice), and diet this or that. Where its sugar free you will probably find aspartame. We could have been called the aspartame family and guess what aspartame is highly linked to breast cancer. Although according to the American Cancer society there is no sure fire evidence that its link to cancer I still feel strongly about eliminating it from our diets.
Instead of using products filled with aspartame we are now going to use products that either are made with pure sugar or we are going to use products like NuStevia and other stevia products because stevia derives from plant extract not chemicals.
Obviously changing your entire life doesn’t happen overnight, at least not for most of us. I can’t justify throwing a ton of food away, but I have donated a lot! You won’t find a can of soup in my house.
I am slowly implementing changes like fresh or frozen vegetables I am not buying them in cans anymore, our soup is either homemade or coming out of a jar or a box, we are no longer eating anything that is “sugar free” we will just watch our sugar and calorie intake closer and use our favorite NuStevia products. We have increased the organic foods in our diet especially with vegetables that quickly absorb chemicals like celery. We are also no longer drinking milk unless it’s organic because of the growth hormones in the regular milk. And YES! I think organic milk tastes so much better!! Here is a great article on an organic verses regular milk taste test.
Have I noticed a hike in our grocery budget? The answer is no! Not that I have noticed because it’s something I am slowly implementing. Slowly making changes allow us to reduce in other areas like going from milk that cost $3.50 to milk that now cost $5.50 a gallon. I am even trying to cut back on my diet soda intake and eventually I am going to wean myself off of it altogether. For me that is certainly one day at a time. When I try to go cold turkey on the soda I end up failing and I don’t want to fail at these changes.
I would love to know your feedback, your findings, and your struggles, battles and changes you may or may not have made to your diet and to your life. Do you leave less of a carbon footprint on the planet or have you changed your diet for the better or for the worse. How do you feel with changes…. Is your health better, worse, or no changes. I am still learning, and curious of other people feelings and thoughts.
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