My beautiful older sister Veronica, just coming around from surviving a hard-fought battle against breast cancer, admitted to me, while we searched around in her well stocked fridge to prepare a meal, that she was afraid to eat anything:
“Honestly, I’m afraid to put anything in my body now, because it may cause the cancer to come back.”, Veronica said.
I could see the trepidation in her face. And a real fear.
When you’ve been through the fire, you become a bit wiser. And my sister’s common sense was telling her that she should not continue eating in the manner she had been accustomed to and expect to have a different outcome. Although her refrigerator held lots of food, the majority of it was over-processed, under-fortified, pesticide-ridden and genetically altered. As beings of the Earth, not much of what we eat these days comes directly from Her. We are becoming a planet of the sick and dying, in part, because of that.
My sister’s post-op recovery relied significantly on her gaining back her weight and replenishing her body with the nutrients and vitamins and countless live cells that were destroyed by the cancer and chemo treatments. This became an arduous task in and of itself because, as we discovered from our own researching on “cancer causing foods”, most of the foods we’ve eaten and enjoyed all our lives — and were now looking to build up her strength and vitality with — were the same ones that more than likely contributed to her cancer in the first place.
Of course scientist have not readily admitted to pinning down any one cause of cancer in any of its various mutations, but surely ingesting foods and drinks purposely contaminated with a cocktail of known carcinogens; pesticides, chemical preservatives and genetically modified materials doesn’t do a body good.
Now its highly possible that we are quickly approaching the period where Mother Earth will no longer be able to feed her children. Inhibited by over industrialization, state/government appropriation of farmland, the contamination of her waters, the prohibition by corporate raiders of farmlands rotating crops for the sake of the soil and global warming — the ability of Earth to produce wholesome, healthy foods may one day be impossible if we continue on the path that we are now on.
Our Planet cannot sustain living, growing, healthy organisms in dead, chemical riddled soil, so humankind — having backed itself into a corner — has had to create food sources that will thrive in a futuristic, poisonous environment while also having a long shelf life. Enter stage left: genetically modified organisms or GMOs and extremely toxic pesticides and preservatives.
Fortunately for my sister, a day after her cryptic admission, we were paid a visit by an angel in the form of a visiting nurse from a service provided by her hospital.
RN Lateesha Gomez (not her real name — but just as unusual), also happened to be a practitioner of holistic wellness — a practice that underscores the nutritional value of the foods we eat as profoundly affecting our well-being and our lives as a whole. Like an Angel of Truth she relieved us of our worries with just two words: Eat Organic. Contrary to the pharmaceutically based industry that she was a part of, she spoke to us about the benefits of a more wholesome approach to our consumption of food and beverages. Of course we’ve always known about organic foods, but like a lot of folks, we associated it with hippies and Euell Gibbons asking “Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible.” in those awkward Grape Nuts Cereal commercials lol! But organic foods are a serious business!
According to the UDSA, under the organic production guidelines; conventional non-synthetic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides are generally restricted in the growth or production of an organic foodstuff. Antibiotics and hormones are prohibited from livestock consumption, and genetic modification or application of nanotechnology is generally excluded from organic food. Foods claiming to be organic must be free of artificial food additives, and fewer artificial methods, such as chemical ripening or food irradiation.
Nurse Gomez also gave us some helpful pointers, like;
1. “DO NOT COOK WITH OLIVE OIL”: My family got aboard the magic train of virgin olive oil years ago and was using it to cook EVERYTHING! The danger is that when olive oil is heated it releases carcinogenic material. Instead, use olive oil as a dressing, a marinade or for dips. Nurse Gomez suggested that we cook with coconut oil that was labeled extra virgin, cold pressed, non GMO and organic.
2. “DO NOT USE ANTIPERSPIRANTS”: The body sweats for a reason, to remove toxins from it. Imagine what a backed up toilet looks like. A deodorant is different, and should be used instead of an antiperspirants. For a natural solution if you don’t want to use chemicals under your arms, but will have a problem going without a deodorizer, Nurse Gomez suggested using baking soda sprinkled into some water and patted under the arm. You can also use the juice of a lemon and pat some into your armpits!
3. “EAT YOUR (SUPER) GREENS”: Getting in your daily greens is a must, says Nurse G. She recommends Doctor’s Select™ Spirulina Super Greens with 1,000 mg Spirulina, (you can pick this up at Costco or order online). The fresh spirulina used is grown only in the dry, pure air of the Sonora Desert of southeastern California. There, at the largest spirulina farm in the world, state-of-the-art aqua-farming technology yields the highest quality, non-allergenic, natural spirulina, free of weed algae and toxins, and containing no pesticides, herbicides or preservatives, and GMO-free.
4. “EAT LESS AND LESS OF PROCESSED FOODS”: That’s a given. If you have a fast food meal for lunch and later on, dinner at a restaurant, the amount of salt, sugars and fats can already average out to be about 2/3 of your daily requirements.
5. “LOOK FOR THE ORGANIC SECTION AT YOUR GROCER’S AND SHOP THERE”: Even small neighborhood markets are getting in step and have begun stocking organic foods on their shelves. Almost every large city in the U.S. has a Chinatown and you should visit it to get fresh fish and vegetables as well as your grains and nuts. If you aren’t sure if the products are organic, ask the owner. Of course there is Costco, Fairways and Whole Foods markets to shop at, but prices there can make your eyes bug out! My sister and I however, have decided we will make that sacrifice. The latest up-to-the-minute fashions won’t do us any good if we’re not here for anyone to see us in them, ya’ know? Real, good health is all the beauty anyone needs anyway! Just make sure you read those food labels carefully.
6. “GROCERY SHOP AT YOUR LOCAL ORGANIC FARMERS MARKET”: Every city has one. And the growers on hand love questions about their crops and the benefits of eating them, so ask away. Make certain they state that they grow their items with no preservatives, no chemical pesticides and no GMO seedlings.
7. “DRINK ALMOND MILK INSTEAD OF SOY”: The popularity of soy has already driven researchers of food manufactures to come up with GMO derivatives of soy, a lot of which are used in soy-based products. Unless you have an allergy to nuts, almond milk is a good substitute.
Sis and I thought the organic route was as good a plan as any. We went shopping strictly in the organic sections of a neighborhood Fairway Market and whether it was in our imaginations or something else, when we sat down to eat the meal we had prepared from our shopping expedition, there was a sense of peacefulness that came over us both, knowing that at least those forkfuls of food going down were doing us a lot less harm than good. We enjoyed that first healthy meal thoroughly.
And hey — my sister and I don’t expect to turn into some sort of gurus of holistic healing. Nor do we expect that we can completely eliminate all the “bad food” from our diets, but we intend to do the best we can as often as we can to prolong our stay here on this crazy, beautiful world just a little bit longer everyday. And that’s the most we can do!