I am Worth It!

The day I heard “You have cancer,” my life completely changed. I knew I would not only beat the dreaded C-word, I would also do anything, to make sure it never came back.

When I was admitted to the hospital, I had to have four pints of blood immediately. The emergency room doctor told me, she was amazed I had not stroked out because I lost so much blood. She even had a nurse sit with me in the exam room while arrangements were made to admit me. I was in that bad of shape!

The next couple days was a whirlwind of tests before they found the cancer in my rectum. The news was bad, it had spread to my liver. Time was not on my side and I didn’t have time to look for options, as far as less invasive treatments. I decided to trust my doctors and go with conventional medicine until I was at least out-of-the-woods. I knew I would eventually look for holistic options to rebuild my immune system.

A month after my diagnosis, I was on the Internet looking for survivors of stage four rectal cancer. There weren’t any, so I looked for other stage four cancer survivors and it didn’t matter what kind they had. I found a few, even one who is living with cancer for over ten years now. I read how they changed their diets and lifestyle and decided I would do what they did. At the time, I was still in conventional treatment but was determined to beat the C-word, no matter how long it took.

Five months later, to the amazement of my doctors, I was cancer free and still am. My medical team was awesome and I am grateful they worked hard to save my life. I told them to give me the most aggressive treatments they had and they sure did. My job was to keep my mind straight and eat healthy. I think if I had just ate whatever I wanted, like my doctors suggested, I wouldn’t have made it. The radiation treatments would have destroyed my immune system.

My doctors knew what I was doing; eating vegan, organic foods, juicing and drinking green smoothies; drinking a shot of Noni juice daily, meditating and keeping a positive attitude — oh, and eating marijuana cookies for nausea. The majority of western medicine doctors don’t get much training about the importance of nutrition. If you saw what they eat, you would be shocked! They eat the same processed junk foods we do.

I no longer eat that crap and yes — it’s crap! The food being sold today isn’t food, it’s created in labs. Yes, packaged foods are convenient and preparing meals from scratch takes a bit more time, but you know what takes a lot of your time too? Going through cancer treatments! Once your diagnosed expect to devote 40 hours a week going to endless doctor appointments, getting blood work, hospital stays, tests and more tests, surgery/chemo/radiation treatments. Expect to feel like shit. I did, but I got well faster than most and it is because I was an active participant in my medical care. I was determined to do what ever it took to get well and it worked.

In a couple weeks I will celebrate four years living cancer free. I will eat some organic dark chocolate to celebrate. I still eat a vegan diet and I eat 80% raw organic foods. If there aren’t organic choices, the only conventional foods I will eat are those with a peel; cucumbers, bananas, oranges and mangoes. Berries, apples, spinach, kale, carrots, red peppers, cilantro, broccoli and lettuce are always organic. Yes, they cost more and I am worth every penny.

My number one job is to stay healthy and I can honestly say, I am healthier than I ever was, even before the cancer diagnosis. For years I was plagued with digestive issues. Several times a year I had boils in my groin area that had to be lanced. All those problems went away.

Lately, I have listened to cancer patients complain that making fresh juice is just to time consuming. They would rather drink Odwalla or other fake health drinks. It’s too much work to make fresh foods.

Make a salad? Who has the time? It’s easier to open a can or microwave dinner in a box. I listen and don’t say much. After all its their life. Its their choice. But my mind is thinking, What the fuck is wrong with you! It’s food for Christ sake! You have cancer! You are fighting for your life! Don’t you want to do whatever it takes to at least try to beat this?

I explain to the person I am talking to, that it takes me less than seven minutes to juice seven to ten carrots and that includes taking them out of the bag, rinsing them, juicing and clean up. I don’t cut or peel them. I don’t need to. My Breville juicer 106650_fpxhas a wide mouth and I just stick in the carrots and go. It couldn’t be any easier. making salads are just as easy. I can make a green smoothie in less than five minutes and I use a regular Black and Decker blender_jpg, not a Vitamix. Both my juicer and blender cost me less than $150.00 total. I am on my second blender. The original one died this year after working daily, sometimes twice a day for almost five years.

I am a thrifty person, and always have been. I look for sales. Thrift shops and estate sales are my best friends. Since I don’t buy expensive clothes from a mall, own a Smartphone, etc. I have money to buy healthy food, and even then I look for sales and stock up.

Every day I get up and say thank you for being alive. I say thank you to my body for putting up with my past abuses. In my defense, I didn’t know the food I was eating was making me sick, but now I know. I have no excuse. It’s up to me to make better choices. Just because it sits on a grocery store shelf, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

I show my gratitude, by treating my body with the love it deserves, and feeding it healthy food.

Yes, preparing healthy meals takes time and I am grateful to have the time (as in being alive) to do it.

Be well and eat healthy!
ingebird

March on Monsanto Long Beach, CA 2015

Today I attended the March Against Monsanto event, hosted by Occupy Long Beach in Long Beach, California. This is the third year I was invited to speak about genetically modified foods and how it affects our health. Since most of us who showed up, already know about the effects of GMOs on our health, I focused on our representatives and their intimate relationship with the biotech industry.

We had a good turnout and I took lots of pictures. Instead of going in to what I said, I copied my speech and you can take a look for yourself.

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That’s me on the right with my vegan friend and animal rights activist.

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This was a family event that included the best bee costume. Our winner was probably around four years old and wasn’t aware she was in a contest. The crowd applauded loudly when she won and I wasn’t sure if she was about to cry from all the noise and attention. Luckily, her mom was there to explain what had just happened.

 

My speech:

“Thank you all for coming today to spend part of your Memorial Day Weekend to get the word out about Monsanto and genetically modified foods. There a couple of things I want to share with you today. Some of its good news and some of its bad news. I will start with the bad news so I can leave you on a positive note.

Here’s the bad news:
Opensecrets.org: 50% of retired senators become lobbyists for corporations wanting to influence public policy. https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/top.php?display=Z

An article written in 2013 by the Huffington Posts states:
Monsanto, Comcast and oil refiner Valero all signed on as clients of the Lincoln Policy Group., owned by former Senator Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat from Arkansas. She left the Senate in 2011 after losing her reelection bid, and started her own lobbying group. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/monsanto-blanche-lincoln-_n_4110750.html

Here is a list of other Congressman on Monsanto’s payroll:

US Congressman Tony Moffett- consultant
US Congressman Dennis DeConcicni – legal counsel
Dep. Dir. Of FDA Health and Food Safety, Margaret Miller- Chemical lab supervisor
White House Consumer advisor, Carol Tucker-Forman- lobbyist
Director of USDA National Institute food and agriculture, Roger Beechy- Director of Monsanto
2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton worked for Rose Law Firm who represented Monsanto.

A Food and Water Watch document from 2010 revealed that the Food and Agriculture Biotechnology spends more than a half a billion dollars to influence Congress every year. They are actively fighting to eliminate or prevent labeling on genetically modified foods in the United States and preventing other countries from regulating
GMOs. These efforts have dovetailed with lobbying to tighten intellectual property law protections over patented seeds and animals, in attempts to further benefit the biotech industry.
http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/BiotechLobbying-web.pdf

And here’s the really bad news:

The Senate voted 62-37 to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as Fast Track, for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and any other free trade deal that arises over the next six years. They passed a highly unpopular piece of legislation at the 11th hour on the Friday night before Memorial Day weekend when they thought no one was paying attention. It will now go to Congress for a vote. Call your Congressman and tell them to vote no on the TPP.

In case you don’t know what the TPP means: It’s a global trade agreement that allows corporations to have power over a country’s right to make laws. Example: Any country or state which makes a law that they believe impedes their right to make money; like labeling foods, they can sue them. An International tribunal will decide the outcome. BTW, members of this tribunal will not be public knowledge.

The Good News:

Food manufacturers care about their bottom line more than pleasing Monsanto and biotech. If their food products don’t sell, they don’t make money and that’s where YOU have the power.
You decide which products you buy. Tell the manager where you buy groceries that you want more NON GMO foods to choose from. Tell him or her You want more organic foods. They will listen to you. They want to get your food dollars and they know if they don’t sell what you want, you will shop somewhere else.

Shop at farmers markets and ask for pesticide free and organic produce.

If you don’t know which foods are GMO free, there is a website called the NON GMO Project. All products on their site are verified by them as GMO free. The list of food manufactures adding their names to the GMO free list is growing because they want your food dollars. The GMO Free project also has an app for your Smartphone so you can use it while you shop.

Go to your school board and demand they offer GMO free and organic lunches. If they refuse, pack your kids lunches or better yet, have them pack their own. That way you know what they are eating and they learn how to eat healthy at a young age.

Contact your state representatives and tell them you want our foods labeled. Tell them you will vote them out of office if they continue to favor corporations over our health.

Start NON GMO foods clubs in your neighborhood. Start your own organic gardens in your backyards. You can even have a neighborhood co-op where you each grow different foods and share them with each other.

You can Share information via social media.

If you are so inclined, run for local offices, making food safety and a healthy environment your priority.

Remember this; YOU have the power to stop biotech from ruining our food supply and you can do it every time you shop for food!”