14 Healthy Fruits and Veggies for Disease Prevention

If you’ve follow my blog, you know I am a HUGE advocate for eating healthy (preferably organic) fresh foods instead of packaged foods made with chemicals and GMOs. I was contacted by a fellow blogger who wanted to share some information with me and I am now passing it on to you.

The name of his blog is Organic Lesson and it has lots of great ideas about gardening and living a healthy organic lifestyle. If you click on the name of his blog, it will take you to the post that explains the infograph below:

healthy-fruits-and-veggies-infographic

Be well and eat healthy!
Inge

A Lesson About Surfing With Cancer

photo credit: Huffington Post

photo credit: Huffington Post

This morning I finally sat down to read an article in the Huffington Post: “What Surfing Can Teach You About Overcoming Adversity.” I earmarked the story because the title reminded me of surfer I visited last year in the Infusion Center. His names isn’t Dean, but I’ll call him that to protect his privacy, but  I bet if he knew I was writing about him, he’d probably be OK with me using his real name. He was never shy about telling people he was being treated for cancer.

I met Dean on his first chemotherapy treatment. He had lots of questions. Part of his wellness plan was to include 20 rounds of radiation, something I knew quite a bit about. I went through 30. As a volunteer I don’t want to scare patients, so I don’t go into any of the possible gory details. I believe we all respond differently to medical treatments and my experience will probably be different from someone else’s. My purpose is to help the patient get through the experience the best he or she can.

As his treatment progressed, he had some ups and downs but the one thing that remained consistent was his love of surfing. Halfway through radiation, he lost a great deal of weight. He had throat cancer and one of the side effects of radiation is the muscles hardening. I experienced the same thing with my lower back. I had trouble bending over. Dean had problems swallowing. Like a lot of throat cancer patients, Dean didn’t eat much. He was afraid of choking. His doctors told him he needed a feeding tube and that he couldn’t surf until he was well again. I remember that day clearly when he told me the news.

Every other word coming out of his mouth was the F-word. Needless to say he was quite upset. I just sat and listened. That’s pretty much all one can do when a patient is upset. He or she needs to vent and part of my job is to provide a safe place for them to do that without judgment. One of the things visiting with cancer patients taught me is that we are all on our on life journeys. The patient is in the driver’s seat and for the short time we are together, I am only along for the ride.

A few weeks went by until I saw Dean again. He showed me his feeding tube and told me about his “plan.” Sitting in the hospital after his surgery gave him time to think. He decided he would continue to surf because floating in the water, waiting for the perfect wave was something he needed. He didn’t know if he would recover from cancer but he wasn’t about to let that stop him from his love of surfing.

“How do you plan to keep the area around your tube free from infections?” I asked.
“I got that all figured out. I wrap my waste with plastic wrap and secure it with duct tape. Then I put on my wetsuit.” He said.

Dean went on his three-week chemo break after that but when I saw him again, he was excited to talk with me. He had just come back from the beach. He had been going daily for the past two weeks.

“I am so happy to be out on the water again! You have to PROMISE me that you won’t tell anyone around here what I’m doing. My docs will flip out if they know I’m back to surfing. I plan to tell them when I’m cancer free.”

One of my agreements to living my life is to honor someone’s request to keep a secret. I never told anyone until now. Eventually Dean’s wellness team did find out. What could they do? It’s his life. It’s his body. I enjoyed sitting with him and listening to stories about his day at the beach and the look on some of the surfer’s faces when he took his wetsuit off. He was a fifty-something surfer (with a feeding tube) that could “hang-ten” with the best of them! I’m willing to bet he became somewhat of a legend in the surfing community.

You might think he was crazy for taking a chance on getting an infection, but his need to live life on his terms outweighed any fears of “playing it safe.” I think it was his surfer lifestyle that helped him continue with his cancer treatments. He pushed himself to keep showing up to Infusion no matter how sick he felt and his reward was the ocean.

By the way… his feeding tube is long gone and he is cancer free!

Be Well!

Inge

Stop Stressing Over Every Little Thing

stress

Part of my healing process included me changing my behavior; meaning how I experienced the world around me. I learned that I am in charge of my health. It took practice but I learned to say “no” to anything that did not resonate with me. I stayed away from drama; learned to speak up for myself and meditated daily. I pampered myself and put my needs first. I learned to love myself 100%.

I still do these things today. and strongly believe they are a big part of the reason I am cancer free over four years now. My journey back to wellness led me to other cancer survivors and people who write books about the mind/body connection. They all agree; if the mind is “sick” it will manifest itself in the body as dis-ease. It’s scientifically proven that long-term stress weakens the immune system.

Think about how your life is right now. Are you stressing over trivial bullshit? (And its ALL trivial bullshit!) Do you know that participating in drama is stressful? Drama is addicting. We can’t get enough of it. We engage in drama with friends (including gossiping), family, reality TV shows and the evening news. If you want to get healthy, stop it now! I mean it! Your health depends on it. Years ago I told a doctor I was too stressed and she said “stress is a part of life. Get used to it.”

Well, I’m here to tell you and her (if she were here) it’s NOT a normal part of life! You decide how much stress you are willing to deal with. Life is all about choices and we all decide what kind of life we want.  Participating in drama, whether it’s actively or passively, like watching it on TV, is a choice.

Ever since I made a serious commitment to live a happy life, no matter what circumstances were going on around me, I am healthier.

Try it for 30 days and see how you feel. Turn off the news. Tell people your living in a drama-free bubble and for them to respect your space. At first they will laugh at you and not take you seriously…until you walk away from drama, gossip and negative speech. You might have to spend more alone time for that month but you will gain a new BFF in the process… YOU!

Be well!

Inge