My name is Rachel. I am a wife, a pet mama, and a breast cancer survivor. I am also a self-appointed Breast Cancer Maven. By definition, a maven is an accumulator of knowledge who seeks to pass on information to others. To be honest, I never wanted to be a maven of this subject, but when I was diagnosed, I found myself feeling helpless, lost, and like a victim. This was not a feeling I was accustomed to and decided I needed to do something. I chose to learn as much as I could so that I could play a role in my treatment and healing process. Although I could not change that I have cancer, I learned that there are many aspects of my life I could control: diet, lifestyle, emotional/spiritual, and physical. Changing my bad habits in these areas became my top priority and the purpose of my life.
Since then, I stopped living a life of convenience with empty and processed foods and became more aware of what I was putting in and on my body. Prior to my health crisis, I had the worst eating habits. I have always been a very picky eater. I have never eaten veggies and most of my daily calories came from soda and processed sweet and salty snacks. Today, my diet is centered around eating whole and unrefined foods, drinking green juices and smoothies, and incorporating as many cancer fighting things as possible. I do not like to label myself, but at home I cook and eat mostly vegan. I avoid processed ingredients as much as possible and love the challenge of finding ways to make tasty dishes that are satisfying for my picky palate and are healthy as well.
My lifestyle has changed drastically as well. I used to live a very fast paced life and spent a lot of my time stressing and worrying about everything. I often lost sleep at night by worrying about what my boss said to me that day or thinking about what I needed to do the next day. I was blissfully ignorant of the dangers that my lack of sleep and constant state of emotional distress caused me. I didn’t care about things like chemicals and pesticides that are found in the food, personal care products, and household cleaners I was exposing myself to every single day. These days, I pay attention to everything that comes in contact with me and my family. I carefully choose each and every personal care products, cleaning and laundry products, supplements, housewares, water, and food that comes into my home. I learned to live each and every day as if it were my last and do everything I can to avoid stress and worry.
My emotional/spiritual outlook has improved as well. I never used to be much of a believer in anything. Through my experience over the past few years, I have found that being positive is essential for well being. I use affirmations daily. I read and watch inspirational books and movies to keep my spirits up and to remind me how important it is to be grateful for all of my blessings – including my good health.
Physical Activity is no longer a cram session before a beach vacation. Today, I strive to be active at least an hour a day. I enjoy doing yoga because it helps with the effects of my BC treatment tremendously. My husband and I take our dog, Bronx, on long walks in the park everyday (okay, well almost every day).
I hope that by sharing my experiences I will inspire others to see how important and simple it is to add good nutrition, active living, and genuine gratitude into their lives once they make the choice to change.
I believe that every bite we take and every thought we have plays a role in how well our body is equipped to battle off disease. Healthy nutrition and an inspired mind is our best weapon to prevent and fight disease. Let’s band together and empower ourselves – one meal and thought at a time!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”