About Me

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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Clean Cool Eats

The road of clean eating has smoothed out. My mind and body feel so much better after a few days of veggie-rich meals! I sat down the other night with 4 issues of Clean Eating magazine and made meal plans for the following 10 days or so. I totally love meal planning time! I'll be eating mostly cold foods because my sister will be recovering from surgery here and based on my many past surgery experiences I'm empathetic to food smell sensitivity. The goal at my house is to not cook anything next week. It will work out well for me because it's going to be warming up outside this week- finally! I'm so thankful the rain has stopped, but the flooding is crazy around the mid-south. The Mississippi River has reached Beale Street, that's just insane! But I digress...

I took my grocery list to Costco last night and bought the store. If you live around Memphis don't even bother going to the North store. They have some awesome healthy and even organic food! I got a huge multi-pack of organic chicken, 3 pounds of grass fed beef, ginormous box of organic salad greens, whole grain flatbread wraps, a mega-box of Ancient Grains Granola with Almonds, beautiful big bag of wild blueberries, 3 half-gallons of 1% organic milk, the score of the store had to be 12 individual cartons of cottage cheese and fruit for only $3 (seriously!!) and I managed to pass up the extra large bags of chips. I'm not really a fan of cottage cheese since it's dairy and fairly high in sodium, but I got it because it's a small portion, was a phenomenal price and will be a decent source of protein during this week of cold foods. I should have snapped a picture of this beautiful healthy food, but I didn't even think about it. I need a blogger's boot camp, I think.

I do wish Costco had MORE organic produce, but that gives me a good reason to go to the grocery store with my sister tomorrow. We have a very special errand to run for this special Mother's Day weekend, but shhhhh don't tell anyone.

What's on the menu? Tuna and Green Olive Crostini, Curried Chicken (or tuna- to be decided later) salad with apples, Cobb Salad with White Fish, maybe a half recipe of Kale and Bean salad, and Veggie Soup with veggie pasta per my sister's request.

What's on YOUR clean menu for next week?

I'll also have my usual oatmeal (I'll soak it overnight in the fridge to avoid any cooking) with blueberries and flax seeds, Ancient Grains Granola with blueberries, and organic Greek yogurt with, yes, blueberries for breakfasts and snacks. Blueberries are such a great anti-cancer fruit! Eat more blueberries, people!!

I'm all set for a clean week of cool eats and care giving. It feels nifty! But first, we'll celebrate Mother's Day weekend. I haven't been home for Mother's Day in 3 years. I'm so thankful to get to share the weekend with my Mom. How are you celebrating Mother's Day this year?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Surviving Rough Roads

Hey there, remember me? My blog has been pretty quiet lately. I've been writing and re-writing this post in my head for the past several days, but I kept chickening out. Since Easter Sunday I have allowed myself too many un-clean eats. I had planned on eating for fun and celebration ON Easter. The problem was that I didn't make a clean plan for Monday, or Tuesday or, well you get the idea.

One of my goals for this blog is to be honest about my life as a Survivor. There are times when I don't want live from a Survivor's perspective, though. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the moment. I want to get down on the floor with my toddler nieces and nephews and let them playfully and joyfully crawl on me and not worry about hurting my knees or anything else. I want to eat fast food and drink beer with my sister and just talk about random stuff without having to wonder if what I just ate and drank would be the start to a third recurrence.

This way of living- short or long term- isn't good for weight loss, of course. How will these food choices affect my weight loss?, has been the loudest question in my mind for years. Yes, I should think of this question before I eat. Yes, I should do this more often. It's something that I, an emotional eater, have been working on and improving for years.

However, the more potent and relevant question to myself should be- How will this food choice affect my risk of a third cancer recurrence? Asking myself this question before I eat something is critically important. Taking the focus off weight loss is also critically important, because losing weight is just one part of the preventing a third go-round. Yes, losing weight is important but it's not my ultimate goal. Losing weight is the wonderful side effect of clean plant based eating for me. If I thought, ate and planned from this greater perspective it would eliminate that pesky weight loss question mark. Crazy cool, huh?

Surviving cancer twice has been the catalyst to eating cleaner, yes, but also to exercising smarter, enjoying my family and friends in a deeper way, sharing this journey of Survivorship with honesty so that other Survivors and Prevent-ers may find inspiration, and finding peace with my food and body issues.

But how do I reconcile those days of unclean food choices once they are over? As I Survivor I wonder if that half a cheeseburger and cheese curds I shared with my mom and sister while on a mini-vacation last weekend will be the meal that starts that third recurrence on a cellular level. Living in fear isn't the answer, I realize, but for me an ounce of fear for another recurrence can sometimes act as a good motivator and reminder. It's difficult to find the balance between healthy fear, planning and everyday living for me as a Survivor.

Yesterday's gone and I can't go back. So, I'm moving forward with a refreshed attitude and approach, cravings satisfied, a few new fitness friends, and a clean eating plan. This Survivor's journey travels some rough roads at times, but I keep moving forward!