Ok. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is getting to the point where enough is enough of delicious cookies and yummy Holiday food. Although it does have to be said that the indulgence has been fantastic! We’re still going to be feasting on left-overs of our Swedish Christmas ‘Julbord’ for a day or two (and I’m still planning to share our delicious red cabbage recipe), then it’s off for a few days of skiing, some fresh mountain air and a return to thinking about fueling the bodies of my family as healthily as possible.
This time two years ago I’d just lost a very full head of thick curly brown hair. I’d been through the agonizing process of choosing a wig – which I ended up wearing all of about three times, because it was way too itchy and once I’d been told how flammable they are I was convinced that it was going to go up in flames the minute I started cooking dinner for the kids on the gas stove top. I was tired after a few rounds of dose dense chemotherapy and I was suffering from a range of weird and wonderful side effects. Having been told to stay away from crowded places – especially in flu season – as my immune system was so compromised, and feeling miserable about the things that that meant I couldn’t do, especially when I was unsure as to how much longer I was going to be around to enjoy things, M brought the entertainment into our living room instead. On boxing day (my birthday), he arranged for a string quartet to perform for me and a few close friends in the comfort of our own home. The moment was magical – one of the three occasions on which I wore my wig – and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such an amazing husband by my side. The kids were delighted by the music and sat transfixed as the musicians played.
As I remember that moment, it brings me to thinking about why it’s so important to stick around. Why it’s important to be able to cherish many more memories like that and to share them with my wonderful family. Part of making sure that that is going to happen is all about Cancer prevention (I had stage 3 breast cancer). Yes, there are the pills that I pop every day to make sure that estrogen levels are kept in check and that breast cancer doesn’t, in theory, have a chance to get another look in, but there are so many other things that can be done to stay ahead of the game and make sure that cancer cells don’t get any funny ideas about invading my body once again.
One of those things is to be more considered than I have been in the past about what I put into my body. I was convinced that we ate as healthily as we could, eating a lot of organic produce, but I really hadn’t thought too much about processed foods (doh) because I had convinced myself that if it said ‘organic’ it was healthy. Feeding my kids red meat always seemed like a good thing – not something I should be doing in moderation and cooking up a ready-made Trader Joes meal seemed to be the only way to get through the day sometimes with both of us working long hours. Now I know that nutrition is an important part of cancer prevention – whether you’re a survivor or not. One of the keys to anti-cancer nutrition is apparently a predominantly (organic) vegetarian diet. The nutritionist at the Cancer Care Center instilled this in me at the end of my treatment, but the true reality of that has only recently sunk in.
The goal is to eat 27 different fruits and vegetables per week. 27!!!! Variety is key. Now there’s a challenge. A challenge that I’ve decided can only be mastered in my household by the incorporation of more juices and smoothies into our daily dietary routine. As a result I put a call out to a host of fellow bloggers earlier this month, asking whether they would be interested in contributing in a month of of juices and smoothies. A great way for me to get inspired and try out new things and a great way for everyone to collectively share their fabulous recipes and thoughts on the subject.
I have been bowled over by the response that I got and am really exited to be hosting ‘d-tox January‘. We will be 27 bloggers in total, so the variety of recipes will be exiting. I’ll kick off the month on the 1st of January with a berry/vanilla smoothie. The rest of the crew will then take the reigns, with a different blogger contributing every day of the month. A few contributors have also suggested detoxifying soups, so there’ll be a few great surprises thrown in amongst the juices and smoothies too. I will summarize their posts daily and will remind you of the links to go check out the recipes and posts. On the last day of January, I will add a Linky to my site and will out out a call to all of you to add your own recipes and thoughts. I’ll then select a random winner out of all of those who have commented and linked to win The Rebecca Katz, One Bite at a Time cookbook. An amazing book with fantastic recipes for those who are going through cancer treatment, for survivors and for their friends.
My d-tox January page shows a calendar of events with links to all of the bloggers that are contributing. You will be able to click on the links daily to take you to the most recent post. Posts will be up daily by 12 noon PST.
Enjoy a few more days of indulgence and get prepared for a fabulous month of healthy ideas.