Since I became vegan after learning of my breast cancer diagnosis, I have been living a healthier lifestyle by researching and trying recipes that I find fit into my family’s lifestyle. As a former cheese junkie, it was probably the most difficult for me to give up cheese. But, when I was forced to give it up for health reasons, I found that many of the migraines I was regularly plagued with disappeared. I also found that I no longer needed to use the Afrin nasal spray, to which I had become addicted, any longer.
Dairy was wrecking havoc on my health. After diagnosis, I found out that I was allergic to dairy. No wonder I had been having all of those side effects from it all of those years. It seemed so obvious all of a sudden, while all of the years I had suffered with side effects without even realizing why.
I also cut out processed foods from my diet. I no longer eat anything that has ingredients that I cannot identify. I eat organic as much as possible. And, I cook my meals from scratch. Processed foods with all of the additives and refined sugars they contain had to go in order for me to restore my health. I was on a mission to feed myself and my family better. By merging the raw food lifestyle with the vegan lifestyle, I found a balance that works for us. I call it “clean vegan”.
One can live a vegan lifestyle simply by eliminating animal products. However, vegan does not necessarily mean healthy. Clean vegan is healthy vegan. Not only have I eliminated animal products from my diet (with the exception of some wild caught fish which has omega 3 fatty acids that are important to good health), but I have eliminated processed foods as well making for a really clean diet.
From the raw food lifestyle, I have incorporated the practice of eating only “pure foods”. That means food that is unadulterated. No preservatives, no processing to remove valuable nutrients, no additives. But, I found it difficult to eat only non-cooked foods 100% of the time. Living in the northeast, I found that in the winter time, I just needed to consume hot foods.
I also think it is very important to add juicing to a healthy lifestyle. That is why I have included juicer reviews on my site. Juicing for health provides your body with nutrients you would otherwise not be able to fit in to your eating regime in a single day. I typically will make my green juice using organic kale, collard greens, swiss chard, parsley, celery, broccoli, carrot, lemon, ginger and sometimes I will use an apple or pear to sweeten it up a bit. Think of all of the nutrients that are in a glass of juice made from these ingredients. The wonderful thing about juicing at home is that you can mix it up. You can include whatever produce you like. By juicing you are squeezing out all of the juice from the vegetable along with its nutrients, without including the fibrous part of the plant. The benefit is that you absorb the nutrients as you drink it without bogging your body down with the task of digestion. It is a quick way to get nutrients right to your cells. There is nothing better for your health than leafy greens and juicing enables you to fit so many of them into a single glass. Veggie juices are healing. That is just the simple fact of the matter.
From the vegan lifestyle, I have incorporated the practices of eliminating animal products. The focus is on a plant-based diet with whole grains, nuts and beans.
I have cut out alcoholic beverages (they increase your risk of recurrence of breast cancer substantially). And my consumption of unhealthy saturated fats has been greatly decreased (reducing my risk again by a substantial amount). It is important however to consume the good fats that can be found in foods like avocado, coconut oil, nuts and olive oil. We need the fats found in these foods to thrive.
I have also added a regular exercise regime to my lifestyle (another substantial cut in risk). By incorporating all of these healthy changes to my lifestyle and introducing more cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens, I am further reducing my risk. I have to believe, as do my holistic doctors, that with all of these risk reductions, continuing on this regime has reduced my otherwise high risk of recurrence to a now very low risk.
Merging elements from raw foodism and veganism allows me to consume the best of both worlds. I am getting optimal nutrition on a daily basis. In addition to the greatly reduced occurrence of migraines and elimination of Afrin, my skin has cleared up, I lost over 40 pounds, and I feel better than ever.
I wanted to share my success with you! Not only is my lifestyle successful for reducing my risk of recurrence from breast cancer, it is an optimal way for all of us to live. The recipes, articles and tips on this site could be incorporated into any healthy lifestyle! Check back often for new content! Here’s to our health!