Tag Archive | nutrition

The Magnificent Seven

As I sat at the high school football game last night, listening to the marching band play one of my favorite stand tunes, The Theme from The Magnificent Seven, I knew it would be the title of today’s blog post!  “Why?” you ask. Because it’s been a magnificent seven years that I am cancer free!

I will always count this milestone and celebrate it. As my second cancer, breast cancer, clocked in at Stage III, I knew things were serious. I knew there was a risk that I would not see my son grow up, learn to drive, go to the prom, or graduate high school. I can now say I have lived and loved every one of those experiences, knowing that each was a gift. Because seven years ago, experiencing those events was not a given.

Seven years ago was the day of my double mastectomy and lymph node dissection. It’s the day I count as my cancer-free anniversary, since it’s the day my 8 cm tumor, and a few lymph nodes, was removed from my body… along with both of my breasts. The chemo and radiation that followed were insurance policies.

But more importantly, it’s the day that I knew I had to take back my health. I had to assess what I was doing to make my body turn on itself. And so began a journey of changes to diet and lifestyle that continues to this day. I’m hardly perfect in my daily routines, but my plant based diet ~ along with getting enough sleep, managing my stress, being careful about what chemicals go into my body (or rather don’t), and getting some exercise ~ has been crucial to my health. I believe my diet, in particular, is what keeps me thriving and cancer-free.

So here I am, seven years out! Relishing and reflecting in the magnificent things I have been able to enjoy because I fought back. Fabulous travels; precious time with my husband, son, family & friends; writing a book; starting my own business; the birth of our first (and amazingly adorable) grandchild; being able to share my gifts with some awesome nonprofit organizations; and yes, seeing my son graduate from high school and start college, with love and pride in my eyes!

Seven years! I am so very grateful for each day of those seven years, even the tough ones. Here’s to 7 more, 17 more, 27 more! Hell, some days I think I could even do 37 more!

So what changes do YOU need to make to take back your health? I promise, you won’t regret it!

It’ll be magnificent!

seven girls from the backside doing a heart with the hands looking at the ocean waiting the sunset in vacation leisure activity. friendshipt all together forever concept, travel to sea places

IMDb: The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Announcing to the World

About six weeks ago, I mentioned that I was in the process of writing my first (but hopefully not last) book. I had planned to give a sneak peek between then and now, but it’s been a crazy six weeks, trying to wrap up the book amidst all of our busy schedules. This book experience has been amazing and I have learned SO much. The biggest lesson? That the easiest part of writing a book is… writing a book! It’s all the other stuff that’s hard, especially when you are self-publishing. Getting Word to cooperate when you are trying to format your manuscript into a template… frustrating! Figuring out the best way to create a cover, after multiple attempts using Canva and KDP failed… even more frustrating!

I am grateful to the love, support, and help of so many people who got me through the frustration, taught me how to “layer” in PhotoShop, or fixed a file for me! Those who shared their thoughts on page colors and font selections, who proofed and re-proofed, edited and re-edited. I am immensely blessed to have so many people who helped me on this book-writing journey!

With that, I am so very excited to announce that my book, “Beyond the Pink Ribbon: What I Wish I Knew About Breast Cancer (Before I Got It)” is now available in paperback on Amazon!! Woo hoo! In addition to being exciting, this is also a bit scary and surreal for me. To write a book is to really put yourself out there, making yourself really vulnerable. It’s a huge step out of my comfort zone, but a dream I have realized after several decades of wanting to be an author.

The book, as the name would imply, details my journey from diagnosis to returned health. I think it will be a great resource for newly diagnosed women, even if a different diagnosis than mine, and for women who might just be trying to lower their risk of breast cancer in the first place.

I do ask that if you purchase and read the book, that you return to Amazon to do a review. It’s apparently how one moves up the Amazon rating scale, which has benefits (that I am still learning)!

For those of you who prefer e-book, I am working on this and hope to have that released by early next week.

IMDb: Announcing to the World (1950)


Just when I think I’m on a roll with blogging… poof! It’s 37 days later.  You would think lack of employment would give me some free time on my hands, but I continue to be as busy as ever. Doing what, you may ask?

I am working my way through my list of home projects (slowly but surely), cleaning like a fiend, and purging “stuff”; doing a lot of volunteering, especially with my son’s marching band (and yet that is not the reason for today’s title); trying to do many of my hubby’s household chores to minimize his stress; working my way through 7 seasons of Game of Thrones (finally done!); working on my business plan; and continuing to pursue my health coaching certification (and herein lies the reason for today’s title).


As part of the health coaching program, we are encouraged to start practicing our coaching skills with family and friends. And so I am seeking volunteers!  The time commitment is about 90 minutes (preliminary paperwork plus a 60 minute-ish conversation). The intent is to practice the initial assessment of potential new clients.

A few things to note:

  • While you all know I am plant-based, the desire to eat a plant-based diet is NOT a requirement for this. I anticipate working with people of all dietary preferences.
  • Integrative nutrition health coaching is focused on more than just nutrition and encompasses many areas of wellness.
  • All information shared will be confidential and sessions are non-judgmental.
  • While I prefer working with people in person, it does not have to be so. I can do phone calls or FaceTime/Skype, whatever your preference.
  • You don’t need to have major issues to do this; even if you’re pretty healthy and happy at present, that’s still a scenario I’d like to try out!

If you are interested in helping me out, please email me at race588@yahoo.com for more information. Ideally I’d like to schedule 1 or 2 a week for the next few months (and beyond), so the more, the merrier!

Thank you in advance!!

IMDb: Volunteers (1985)

The Experts

I received an email today regarding the conference I am attending in California in February.  I am so excited about the line-up of speakers!  I have read so many of them this past year, following their blogs and newsletters.  Here’s the preview:

  • T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Co-author of The China Study
  • Marlene Zuk, PhD, Author of Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet and How We Live
  • James Hill, PhD, Co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry
  • Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, Author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
  • Susan Levin, RD, Director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  • David Simon, lawyer, advocate for sustainable consumption and author of Meatonomics
  • Michael Greger, MD, creator of nutritionfacts.org
  • Ramses Bravo, chef and author of Bravo: Health-promoting Meals from TrueNorth Kitchen
  • Baxter Montgomery, MD, Director of the Montgomery Heart and Wellness Center
  • Doug Lisle, PhD and John McDougall, MD

Remember… I’m still looking for a fellow nutrition nut to join me… Any takers?  🙂


I’m re-posting this link to Lemon Spinach Pesto Pasta.  We had it for dinner tonight and I just love this dish!  http://lesliedurso.com/2012/06/lemon-pesto-pasta/

I’m excited that my dinners for the next two nights are already prepared and in the refrigerator!  It took some work on Monday, but it will be nice just re-heating!


I had some problems with my FitBit One today.  I charged it overnight and clipped it to my waistband as usual.  I didn’t really look at it until I was at work, and I noticed that the time was showing PM, even though it was still morning, and it had me at 5500 steps already.  I sure do wish that was the case but it wasn’t.  It messed me up all day, since I do use it as my watch.  I reconnected it to the laptop when I got home, played around with settings (which were correctly set) and it adjusted.  Unfortunately, it was me at only about 1500 steps for the whole day.  I know that’s not right either.  Sure hope it’s back to normal by tomorrow!


The Experts (1989) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097314/

The Fox

I was happy (and a bit surprised) to hear a story on Fox News that talked about nutrition as the way to manage chronic illnesses and cancer.  It was a lot of the information featured in Suzanne Somers’ book but, I have to be honest, Fox News was the last place I expected to hear it!  I tried to find the link to the story online but didn’t have any luck.  It was great to hear this information going more mainstream.  I’m going to keep looking and will post the story if I find it.


I’m happy to report that I bought two new cookbooks today!  “Crock Pot Vegetarian Recipes” and “The Vegan Cookbook”.   We took a trip to Barnes and Nobles today and I couldn’t resist!  There were so many to choose from, but I showed some restraint.  I did jot down a few more for potential Christmas gifts.  🙂


In a follow up to my comment on memory, one of my blogging friends mentioned that she takes phosphatidylserine for memory and that it helps her.  I’m looking into this a little further, since my naturalist informed me that this is often made from soy (which I try to avoid), or animal parts.  I did find one made from sunflower (non-GMO and non-soy), so we’ll see what my naturalist thinks. I could certainly use some clarity and retention!

Please check out her blog as well:  http://drlisamallen.wordpress.com/


New recipe:  Quick Black Bean Chili
This was great, since it was easy to assemble and quick to cook.  I made this with steam-in-the-bag brown rice.  A healthy “fast food”!


The Fox (1967) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062990/

The Whole Ten Yards

I finally finished my latest read:  “Whole; Rethinking the Science of Nutrition” by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, with Howard Jacobson, PhD.

This book is a must-read for everyone (so much so that I bought the audio version for my husband so he could listen to it to/from work)!  I wanted him to understand what I was trying to accomplish with my switch to a vegetarian diet (with the focus really on a “whole food, planted based” diet, or WFPB).

In the book, Dr. Campbell covers the flaws in our current system of research, agribusiness, politics, and even much-beloved charitable organizations.  There is a lot of science in the first part of the book, but the intent is to illustrate how current research takes a very narrow view (reductionism) as opposed to looking wholistically at nutrition and health.  Much of the book is maddening as he speaks about how grants for research are approved, how it is determined whose work gets published, how the media is led to report on said research, and, in general, how money corrupts the whole process.  Greed is at the center of it all, and there is no money to be made in people getting well by eating better (WFPB).

Dr. Campbell has spent over 50 years researching nutrition and has gone against his industry by challenging what has been ingrained in us since birth; that you need milk for calcium and meat for protein.  Any research to the contrary is summarily dismissed.

My personal frustration with cancer treatment is that it is pretty much reactive.  You have to wait to get cancer to do something.  There is little to no focus on being proactive… in preventing cancer (or heart disease, or diabetes, or any of a number of chronic illnesses).  This book focuses on prevention of these diseases through a WFPB diet, and provides the scientific reasons why it works (for those of you who might be skeptical and in need of objective data).  But Dr. Campbell also explains why you won’t hear any of this from the government, the medical and research communities, the media, or the various disease-focused charities.  I highly recommend that you read this book!

Dr. Campbell wrote another book, “The China Study”, that will be next on my list.  And then I think I will come back and re-read “Whole”.  There was so much information in it, that a second review will help me better absorb.  Also, his daughter published a WFPB cookbook titled “The China Study Cookbook”.  I purchased that last week and am finding some great recipes (well, they LOOK good on paper… I will let you know when I actually try them!).