Yes, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since I’ve already written one blog post about it, let me simply refer you to it.
In the meantime, keep the girls checked out. Early detection is one of the keys to recovery.
Yes, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since I’ve already written one blog post about it, let me simply refer you to it.
In the meantime, keep the girls checked out. Early detection is one of the keys to recovery.
I do believe I am. This summer has been very hot and wet where we live. Of course, autumn will probably be dry, leaving my hair and skin flaky and itchy.
After chemotherapy and radiation therapy, my skin can’t take what it once could. Being diabetic can leave my hands dry and sore. But I have defences against both of them.
The L’Bri company has a fantastic line of skincare products that are much less drying for me than most other brands. They have replaced the water and alcohol in their lotions with aloe vera, which helps sooth as well as soften your skin.
Another thing I like is that they last a long time. It only takes a little bit to do the trick. The first time I tried the lotion on my hands, I had about enough to do most of my body!
I don’t endorse many products, but this is one line I really love. I use their lotion, body butter, and facial combos all the time. I also love the aloe vera gel I can buy separately.
They have recently added a line of fragrance free products as well, if you don’t like things with scent.
So check out the September Sale, browse the site, and give some of their products a try.
As you might guess, if you’re eating an all natural diet, it can be tricky to eat out, but we have a couple places here in town that work well for me. One of those is a place called the Peking Palace.
This is a small family run Chinese place near where we do our shopping. It’s not much to look at, but the food is tasty, and they have a couple things in their vegetarian menu I can eat with no problem. One of those is pictured below–a vegetable delight platter. It comes with rice, but since I can’t eat the rice, I usually just ask them to leave it out. It also comes with carrots, which don’t agree with me at the moment, so they leave those off for me as well.
They also have steamed vegetables, which is roughly the same thing, only with no sauce at all. Depending on the day, I order one or the other.
The last item I have eaten there since this change began is their sauteed green beans. Whole green beans seasoned with onions and garlic, it is a welcome change to the broccoli and other vegetables.
We also go to Ruby Tuesday for the salad bar. They have a good variety of toppings I can eat, as well as vinegar and oil, so I can grab the vinegar and have a little something on my salad.
And if we’re in the mood for Mexican, La Hacienda has a good taco salad, and they will substitute beans or grilled vegetables for the meat for me. Or they have grilled vegetables, or a grilled vegetable fajita mix. I just eat the veggies and leave the tortillas alone.
Yes, it is tricky, but it can be done. I can eat any of the items above and still have my blood sugar down where it belongs.
Is it worth the hassle?
I think so, if it keeps me healthy. But it is a shift in lifestyle and it did take a little getting used to.
Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend. See you next time!
I have been in this new phase of life for nine months now, and while it is occasionally aggravating and frustrating, it is working.
The new diet I’m on is all natural, nothing processed, no meat, dairy, eggs, added salt or sugar, no added oils. they prefer it if one of your meals is all raw vegetables as well. While it sounds restrictive, I am getting much better at fixing vegetables with a variety of tastes and textures.
Growing up on a farm, we always had plenty of fresh vegetables on the table, but we had meat also. In thinking back, while meat may have been on the table, it wasn’t the main attraction. There was enough for everyone to have one serving, but plenty of fruits and vegetables to fill up on. Of course, we also had home made bread, which is off my menu.
So, what do I eat?
Breakfast is my difficult meal of the day. I like something hot in the morning, but so far cereal grains are not friendly. I’m beginning to be able to eat buckwheat, but I do better with it later in the day with a lot more in the way of leafy greens than as the star of the show for breakfast. So I usually have a mix of raw nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, and a few dried goji berries or dried mulberries for a tiny burst of flavor. I’ve found I don’t really need a lot in the morning, so it works for me.
Lunch is when I usually go raw, with a big bowl of salad. I have romaine lettuce and some sort of greens mix, like baby greens, spring mix, or herb mix as a base. Then I add everything but the kitchen sink. I’ll put on tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, cucumbers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, mushrooms, and anything else I might have in the fridge. As a dressing, I sometimes use just plain old vinegar. Other times, I mix up vinegar with tahini or natural peanut butter and some fresh ginger.
Note to self. Go easy on the ginger…
Dinner time is fun. When I first began this journey, it was kind of a one vegetable at a time things. Green beans with tomatoes and onions. Steamed broccoli. That sort of thing. But now I take a variety of vegetables, cut them into like-sized chunks, and add them to my wok to steam quickly. Some of my favorites are broccoli, zucchini and yellow squash, with onions and garlic, and maybe some snow peas. Other times, it might be lentils with tomatoes, zucchini, onions, garlic, herbs of some kind, and kale.
I love kale. I can toss it in at the last minute and let it wilt to add texture and color to an otherwise blah looking meal. I don’t like it cooked to mush, so I stir it in, turn off the heat, and replace the lid for about three minutes. Ready to eat! I do the same thing with spinach, only it doesn’t take as long to wilt as the kale.
Lately, I’ve been able to add a little grain to this regime. With about a quarter of a cup of millet or buckwheat, I can have something similar to rice without making a huge impact on my blood sugar levels.
I’ve found I can eat dried beans if I cook them myself and check the label for the carb to fiber ration. Taking the carbohydrate figure, I subtract the amount of fiber from it and compare the result to the amount of protein in the beans. If the protein is the same or higher than this number, I probably won’t have a problem with it.
Some of my favorite beans are fava beans. Most people peel them after they’re cooked, but if I do that, I lose most of the fiber. As the skins can be a little tough, I pop them into the food processor and give them a whirl. Then I can top them with fresh tomatoes, onions, and green peppers for a dish similar to ful medames.
Frustrations? Going out to eat and family barbecues.
Going out to eat can be tricky. I need go to someplace with a good salad bar, or a Chinese place with steamed vegetables. Of course, watching everyone else eat things I used to be able to eat can be a little depressing, but it isn’t like can actually eat them anyway. My system as come to the conclusion that meat is not a happening thing. One tiny taste sends my stomach into fits.
Our first family barbecue after the change in diet left me depressed. Everyone else had burgers, hot dogs, or chicken breast. I had several skewers of vegetables. Not that they weren’t tasty–I nearly had to fight one of the family off to keep them to myself–but they weren’t really barbecue material.
Don’t get me wrong. I love vegetables. I just miss being able to eat other things.
So what has been the result of all this?
When I first went in to the doctor, my A1c–which tells the blood sugar story of the last three months–was at 11.5, which is really high.
My first check up three months later, my A1c was down to 5.5 and my doctor was amazed.
The next three month check up it was down to 5.4.
Last week, after another three months, I had been off all medication for at least three months and my A1c was down again, to 5.3. If my blood sugar is still under control unmedicated at my next visit, I will only be going in every six months.
I love my doctor. He is very supportive and actually listens when I talk. He also likes to follow a natural route as much as possible, so he was delighted that I’d been able to stop taking my medications and still have blood sugars down in the normal range.
I have also lost over 30 pounds in the process and I’m slowly creeping down a little more. My goal is to be below 160.
If you are diabetic and wanting to try this approach, please talk to your doctor first, especially if you are on medication to control your blood sugar. Yes, the diet works if you stick to it. But you have to be dedicated and in it for the long haul. It works well enough that if you are on medication and try to go it on your own, you could wind up with hypoglycemic incidents, which are very dangerous.
Do I recommend this approach?
Very much. But under supervision if you have a blood sugar problem.
Interested? Go and get a copy of one of Dr. Fuhrman’s books on Eating to Live. Then talk to your doctor. Change doctors if necessary. But do think carefully before you make the choice. This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix and then back to your old way of eating.
Now, what can I fix for dinner tonight?
Is there something in your family’s medical history that scares you? For me, that was Type 2 diabetes.
My mother, her two sisters, and their father had all had Type 2. I believe it is what killed my sister as well. So the family history made it a very real, very dire, diagnosis for me.
Back when my grandfather and my Aunt Edith were diagnosed. the only treatment was to watch your diet and take insulin before each meal. There was no way to check your blood sugar before or after eating, or even check it at home. We went in to the doctor once every four to six weeks to have blood work drawn. As my grandfather wasn’t what you could call compliant by any stretch of the imagination, it was always a stressful day.
He couldn’t get his mind around the fact that just because something was a healthy food generally, that it wasn’t necessarily a healthy food for him to eat whenever he wanted. He loved apples and oranges and would sneak them into his room. And when his blood sugar results came in, he would have a fit. Somehow it was someone else’s fault.
I grew up watching my mother give her father insulin shots three times a day, fussing at him abut his diet, and eating meals on a strict schedule to accommodate for his illness. Breakfast was at seven, lunch at noon, and dinner at five. This never varied.
My Aunt Edith, was extremely strict about her diet. Not only did she know what she could eat, she carried measuring cups and spoons with her to measure everything that went on her plate. When we sat down for breakfast, she and my mother went over the meal plan for the day so she could figure out her bread substitutes for each meal. And she took three daily injections as well.
Aunt Betty was able to control her diabetes with diet alone. She was the sister with a completely different metabolism from her sisters. Mom and Aunt Edith could gain weight just thinking about chocolate cake. Aunt Betty could eat the whole thing a lose a pound or two. She had never had the diet struggle her sisters had, so the transition wasn’t as difficult.
My mother was fine with diet at first, but after the first year or so, had to go on an oral medication, which was later involved in a class action suit. She died from complications to her diabetes, partly due to the medication. I am now older than she was at her death.
Even in my mother’s time, there was no way to do home blood sugar tests, so you were more or less left to flounder around on your own and hope everything was fine when you went to the lab.
When I was a child I had major ear infections and was in the clinic once a month it seemed, so I had grown tired of injections at an early age. The idea of having to take three injections each and every day for the rest of my life was worse than a death sentence. It got to the point where I couldn’t even watch anyone getting an injection. I still can’t.
As a breast cancer survivor, you might think diabetes would be a walk in the park by comparison, but not for me. Cancer was something you could eliminate with surgery and drugs. Diabetes, as far as I knew, was forever. Once diagnosed, it would be a lifelong enemy. I knew there had been advancement in medication, but it still scared me spitless.
Our daughter is a nurse, and she recommended the doctor I went to see. She assured me he knew what he was talking about. But when he initially insisted I should take a once a week insulin shot, I was dismayed, though he insisted diabetes could be reversed.
The diet I’ve been following was a bit of a challenge at the beginning. Eating nothing but unprocessed foods can be tricky. Eating unprocessed foods, with no oil or salt added is trickier. Eating most of it raw or lightly steamed is hard to get used to.
And it seems there is sugar in everything on the shelf. I had some cans of beans in the pantry–kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzos. Though he’d told me to avoid canned foods, I didn’t want to waste them. Some of the black beans and the garbanzos were all right, as far as sugar.
But kidney beans? I have yet to find a brand of kidney beans which does not contain sugar. After the beans in my pantry were gone, I hadn’t planned on buying more anyway. But I was curious. Some of the other beans have sugar, but not usually every brand. Kidney beans, though, are always sweetened.
And stewed tomatoes. You can buy just about any other sort of canned tomato and be fine. But if they’re stewed, they have sugar in them.
Seasoning blends usually have sugar in them. Some of the Mrs. Dash seasonings I’ve found without sugar, but I’m not particularly fond of them. So I’ve become more skilled at making my own seasonings–without salt or sugar involved.
Salad dressings and most sauces have sugar, not to mention salt. And I really can’t deal with the artificial sweeteners or fat free things. It’s much easier to flavor some vinegar ahead of time for salads.
But after eight months of working with this new diet plan, I’ve found a way to have variety in my meals, have plenty to eat without feeling too full, and not feel overly restricted. Eating out can be a challenge, but there are several places around where I can browse the salad bar or order a large salad. One of the Chinese restaurants will steam me a large platter of mixed vegetables.
There are still times when I miss being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want it. But as my system won’t accept some foods yet, that makes it easier. I’m beginning to be able to add more beans and grains to my diet, a little at a time, which helps. But I found the family BBQ upsetting, even though I had skewers of grilled veggies–which were marvelous.
I have another appointment with my doctor coming up later this month. I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, stay happy, stay healthy, and live life to the full.
Are you interested in the story of my breast cancer?
Cancer and the Warrior’s Way is available at Amazon!
Also available for Kindle!
But you know how things are. Life has a way of becoming hectic at times, and we’ve been through one of those periods lately. But to kind of catch you up to speed, I thought I’d make a short post today.
My mother’s side of the family has always had a problem with Type 2 diabetes. I had hoped to give it a miss, since several people in my father’s family had the exact opposite problem–hypoglycemia.
But in November, 2018, our daughter insisted we go to the Urgent Care to have them look at one of my toes. When she looked at it, she found a small piece of metal embedded in the wound, which was healing far too slowly. Once the doctor there looked at the blood test results, I thought they were going to forget the toe altogether.
With a blood sugar of 417, they immediately sent me over to the ER. After several hours of sitting around and waiting for test results, they treated the toe and put me on metformin until i could see a persona physician. Several years ago, our insurance changed, and several of my doctors were out of network. Due to the whole new patient process to find a new doctor, I’d kept postponing it.
Our daughter is an LPN and she recommended a doctor to me. She had worked with him before and thought I would appreciate his approach to health care. Instead of waiting for me to make an appointment, she came over the next day and made the appointment for me, as well as one with a podiatrist I had seen previously.
My first visit was frantic. Although my blood sugar was down a bit–into the 300’s–Dr. Fogarty wanted to get my blood sugar down as quickly as possible. I hadn’t wanted to use insulin, but agreed to a once a week injection along with twice daily Metformin. The surprise was the diet he had me adopt.
I had been expecting a high protein low carb approach, but no. He asked me what the body ran on. Well, glucose. And then he asked what sort of diet I thought I should be on. Well, since my body’s glucose levels were high, I assumed low carb, which should lower my glucose levels.
Wrong! He told me he intended to flood my system with more sugars, with a different kind of diet. No meat of any kind, nothing processed. No flour of any kind. No added oils or salts. And obviously, no sugar. To keep the glucose levels level, I was to be careful with any starchy vegetables, fruits, and grains, but not eliminate them entirely.
Proteins would come from grains, nuts, and seeds. He suggested quinoa and chia seeds added either to grains or salads.
I thought the man was crazy, but it turns out he knew what he was doing. Score one for the doctor.
I started with an A1c of 11.5. Three months later, in February, my blood sugar was mostly down around 100 in the morning. My A1c was 5.5. Three months after that, my A1c was 5.4 and most of by blood sugars were below 120 after eating.
I’ve also lost 30 pounds in the process.
But with all the meal prep and figuring out what I can and can’t eat, and checking my blood 4 times a day, I have felt like I’m always playing catch up. My novel writing has taken a back seat as well. But since things are about to level out, I think I’ll have some time to get things going again.
I have been un-medicated since about halfway through March, and my blood sugars are still down in the normal range.
Anyway, I’ll write more about adjusting to this lifestyle change in my next blog. I hope to keep a sort of diary of my progress here and share it with you.
For now, have a wonderful summer. Eat plenty of nice fresh veg from your local vendors, and get out and enjoy the sunshine.
And if you like to read, I write fantasy romance, with a paranormal twist. And all my books are on sale at Smashwords this month. I hope to have another book out this summer, and I will be adding my book on cancer and a book on my experience with diabetes and Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritionist diet.
A piu tardi…
I don’t share much about myself sometimes, mainly because I don’t want to seem like I’m hoping for sympathy I suppose. Yes, I’ve been through a few things, but I’ve made it through.
Back in 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. To hurry through the story, I survived chemotherapy and radiation therapy, losing my hair and growing it back again.
Since then, I have recurring symptoms which drive me crazy, but I think they’re a little less now than they had been.
But my scalp has been sensitive to products, which was not helped at all when I began to use a supposedly more natural product that made my hair loss increase drastically after about three months.
Nor was I alone in this. I have a good friend who had the same problem, as did our daughter. Three different people. Three different kinds of hair. Same issue. Unfortunately the company decided it couldn’t be their fault.
But since then, my scalp has been even more sensitive. Everything I tried over the counter either made my scalp break out in huge sores, or it made my hair loss increase. or both!
The salon suggested a product to me, which slowed the hair loss, but unfortunately made my head start breaking out again after a couple weeks. Where do you go from here?
Thankfully our daughter’s hair dresser suggested a product to her, which she loved and then suggested to me. I’ve been using it for nearly eight months now. My hair is filling in, it’s soft and smooth. It’s longer than it has grown in years without split ends.
And no sores on my scalp!
It’s amazing when you find something that works. And not only works, but works well!
Thank you, Tasha and Dawn for introducing me to these products. They’re amazing!
Follow me on Facebook for more information!
I can’t believe we are still asking this question. Actually, I can’t believe it was ever asked to begin with. I may not be a genius, but having grown up on a farm, there are a few things that I know for sure.
If you have a bull and a cow, and they mate, the offspring from them will always be a cow.
If you breed a stallion and a mare together, their offspring will be a horse of one denomination or the other.
Same with dogs, cats, goats, sheep. You name it. If you breed two of a kind together, you’ll end up with another one of that kind.
Ask anyone who raises animals for a living and they’ll tell you the same thing. You start with pedigreed cattle, you’re gonna have more pedigreed cattle. Non-pedigreed, they’re still going to be cattle, but there are more variables as to size, color, etc., which is why pedigreed animals are so expensive.
You’ve heard people ask a pregnant woman, “Do you know what it is yet?”
The answer to this question is either girl, boy, or twins. You never hear, “Well, last time we had the cutest little chimp. This time we’re hoping for a pony.”
Never. Hear. That.
If you have a male human being and a female human being and the two of them get together, there is no chance that their offspring will be anything but human. Can’t happen. Now there may be a wide variety of factors as to hair color, eye color, height, weight, and all those happy things that will come out of the genetic woodwork and surprise us, but it will be human.
It has no choice.
There is no possibility, that once conceived, the offspring from two human beings, two homo sapiens, will be any more or less than human. There are no alternatives. Once conceived, this little being will become a human being. It will share the genes from its parents to become a unique individual.
But it will be human.
Just like the thoroughbred mare, when bred to a thoroughbred stallion will have a thoroughbred foal, two human beings together will produce a human baby. It could be the next Einstein, or it could be mentally or developmentally challenged. It will still be human.
You cannot make it anything else, no matter how you try. This little clump of cells, which is rapidly growing and changing, will eventually be born as a beautiful little boy or girl. A human boy or girl.
So let’s stop this whole “it isn’t human until so many weeks.” You cannot use this to justify the taking of life. It will always be human, no matter the stage of pregnancy.
I’m not here to tell you whether abortion is right or wrong. That’s above my pay grade. You can take that up with someone else.
What I’m saying is that from conception to birth, there is going to be only one outcome. Don’t try to to make abortion sound better by claiming the fetus isn’t human until it has reached a certain stage of development. If you feel the need to justify the act or make yourself feel better about it, find another way to do it.
Whether it is technically human at a particular point or not, the only potential it has, if it reaches term, is to be human.
Not a monkey.
Not a chimpanzee.
Not an orangutan.
Not a gorilla.
Not anything else but human.
Like I said before, I’m no genius. I’m not a geneticist, or biologist, or any kind of scientist. I’m a farm girl, a mother, and a grandmother. From the time I was able to walk to the barn to watch the miracle of birth, there are a few things which have remained constant.
Horses yield horses. Cows yield cows. Goats yield goats. Eggs from chickens hatch into chickens and goose eggs into geese.
There are no surprises as to species.
Human beings yield humans. End of story.
But if someone out there gives birth to a unicorn, I’d be happy to adopt it.
Emotional abuse is a growing concern in our world, and since it is nearly invisible, the perpetrators go away Scot free. It often stems from the need to be in control. We all know what physical abuse is, and while the victims oftentimes try to hide it, the symptoms are fairly obvious.
But what is emotional abuse?
According to the Counseling Center, abuse is any behavior which tries to control or subjugate another person by fear, humiliation, verbal or physical assaults. Emotional abuse can include verbal abuse, constant criticism, intimidation, manipulation and refusal to ever be pleased.
Emotional abuse takes away its victim’s sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and their trust in their perceptions. The communication between partners develops into more of a parent/child pattern than one between adults.
Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship?
What are the symptoms of emotional abuse?
These are a few signs to watch for, but the list isn’t all-inclusive.
What can you do?
Sometimes, once a person realizes they are in an abusive situation, refusing to be a willing party is enough to start the changes in the relationship. Other times, marriage counseling can help.
And of course, last of all, when there is no hope of change, it becomes necessary to leave the relationship.
Don’t continue to consent to emotional abuse. Though the scars are invisible, they can be even more devastating than those people can see.
Take action today.
What is faith? We’ve all heard about faith, but to many it is much the same as making a wish. And if it is nor more than wishing, why bother?
According to the bible, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
But how do we put this to work in our daily lives? How can something we hope for have substance?
A wise man I once knew put it sort of like this. When you ask for something in faith, ask and then go out as if your request has already been answered. So if you’ve asked for a new job to come your way, go out knowing that something will come to you and then do what you need to do to find it. Read the want ads, post your resume online, ask your friends.
The person with faith will go out the door looking for the opportunity waiting for him. He’ll be excited, because he knows something will show up–either a new job, a raise, a promotion. Something positive will happen for him.
Chances are, it won’t just fall out of the sky, but you are looking for that job, knowing it will be there. And because you’re looking, you’ll see it when it shows up.
Don’t ask for a new job and then say, “Well, I’ll probably have to make do with what I have. For some reason, God has decided that I can never really get ahead, I guess to keep me humble. Besides, no one in this family has ever done anything. Why should I be the first?”
Do you see the difference? One person is asking for something without limiting God or the universe, willing to accept the new job which will come his way. It may not occur in a way he is expecting, but he’ll be ready for it.
The second person, by his attitude, is placing limits around what can happen. He is asking for something, but accepting, as fact, that it isn’t going to happen. And if he doesn’t expect it to happen, there is no faith involved, and chances are, when the opportunity is presented, he won’t be there to receive it. He’ll be looking back at his past and wishing it was different.
So how do we show faith? By asking and expecting to receive what we need. If you need a new job, and you ask for one, expect to find it. If you need a better car, ask, and then look for what you need, knowing God wants you to prosper.