Happy Anniversary?

I have never been into anniversary’s. That sounds so un-romantic. I am always aware how many years Lance and I have been married, for example, and secretly psyched when we made it a decade, and kept on going, but I didn’t care about making a big deal about the actual day. I like to celebrate random days, not necessarily THE day.

However, this anniversary is different. It’s significant. It brings mixed emotions. Usually when you say “Happy Anniversary” it’s because that particular day was a celebratory one. A year ago was not celebratory for us. In fact, it sucked. It was hands down the worst day of our lives. I was sitting in ICU thinking all the worst things one could think, crying my eyes out, ridden with shock and sadness.

So when I look at where we are now, I think now that’s something to celebrate! Lately, I’ve been looking at Lance, thinking, “Damn, you look good.” In fact, this past weekend, we were at some hot springs near Winter Park with our friends. We were all coming out of the changing rooms with our swim suits on and both my friend and I took a double take when Lance came out in his bathing suit. He looked fit and strong and healthy and just plain good. My friend said something to me about how Lance looked, I nodded.

And when I think about all that we learned and grew and did and tackled and accomplished in the past year, it makes me beam with pride. We worked hard at getting where Lance is today. We didn’t let anything get in our way…not doctors, not naysayers, not statistics. We just put those aside and tried to be the best students possible. We continued to learn as we went along and added, or subtracted whatever was serving us or not serving us and kept on forging ahead. This included not only nutrition, but meditating, visualizing, resting, learning, learning, and more learning, being conscious in everything we did and being really clear on what we had time for and what we didn’t. It was like the ultimate fine tuning of our lives.

Also, a year is significant because getting to a year in Lance’s case was a big deal and increases his chances all the more. A couple months ago, I started feeling that sense that we were coming up to a year and Lance was doing so good and it made me think of the little engine that could and I kept thinking, “Come on, you can do it.”

While my Dad was in the hospital here in Boulder with his broken leg, I asked him if he would like to see Lance’s last MRI. Since my Dad is a retired radiologist (that specialized in neurology) this whole business with Lance has been a little touchy. I knew without discussing his views that we had very different perspectives on Lance’s condition but he kept his thoughts to himself (thanks Dad, I am eternally grateful to you for that). However, in this bonding father/daughter moment, I showed him Lance’s last MRI and watched him as he stared in quiet disbelief. He really could not believe what he was seeing. Because what he was seeing was practically NOTHING!

We didn’t immediately share Lance’s results on purpose for 2 reasons. 1) We both needed it to sink in and savor it. 2) We don’t want to jinx ourselves and seem cocky (we are still in this game). Basically what was once the size of a racket ball is now the size of a pea (and that could be just dead tissue).

So what we have to celebrate is a successful year of extreme discipline. I don’t think about that day, one year ago, and what it was like. I think about today and how far we have come. I think about how life and every single day should be celebrated, not just that one day. I think about that no matter what you are going through, there is always hope, there is always beating the odds, there is that silver lining. I feel grateful that Lance and I were blessed with that strength and foresight to have the outlook we have had. I hope that no matter what you are going through, whatever adversity you are facing, that you can have the strength to pull yourself out of it. Know that life is constantly changing and if you face your issues head on, with love and openness, before you know it a year has past and you think to yourself (as I do know),”What a difference a year can make!”

Love, love, love,
Nancy

My two big ahh haas

Over the last year my life has basically completely changed. Among a host of things, I’m trying every day to approach my life from a place of love, laughter (not taking things too seriously), and something I didn’t used to have, discipline. Especially around what I put in my body. I have to approach my eating with the utmost discipline or my next stop could be Good Times Burgers.

Two of my most disciplined practices with what I put in my body, that I believe have added the most to my healing  may sound weird but:

1. Alkalinity: When I started on this adventure my saliva and pee were extremely acidic. How do I know? I bought a roll of this pH tape and I encourage all of you to buy one.

When I licked this tape it was bright yellow 4.5 (bad) now it’s dark green to purple 6.5-7 (good!).

There are many books on alkalinity and my favorite is “Alkalize or Die.” It’s pretty extreme but what it does have is a 30-day diet on how to get alkaline.

There is a reason why almost every single cancer diet is vegetarian. Meat is extremely acidic. The amount of alkaline food you have to eat (kale!) to offset the pH imbalance of a steak is overwhelming. In order to offset a can of Coke you have to drink something like 23 glasses of 9.5 alkalized water or a few shots of wheat grass.

Why are all the diets meat/acid free? The theory is that disease of any kind cannot live in an alkaline environment (pH over 6 or 7). Only acid systems (pH under 6) nurture the right conditions for disease to flourish.

Another book from a completely different discipline that highlights this is The China Study. It’s a huge study done in China of cancer victims and what differentiates them. Basically the study showed that cancer only occurs in regions of China where people eat meat. Scary.

When Nan and I started all of this I would crave meat. I almost never do now (unless its steak tartar). Recently I’ve been craving meat and my nutritionist, Jim, says it’s because I’m too alkaline. I never thought that would happen.

Go get some Enzymedica Tape at Whole Foods (it’s expensive). Start slow. Here is a list of things to avoid and a list of things to load up on. Coffee is a real killer. Please let me know if you try and if you start feeling differently. It’s pretty amazing.

Link to complete alkaline food list

2. Hydration: I was probably one of the most dehydrated people around. I would go a whole day without a single glass of water. At night after dinner I would suddenly get thirsty and down a huge glass of water right before bed. The only water I had that day. It was very strange to Nan that I could do this and not get up at night. How could I? My cells were being starved they wouldn’t let go of a single drop.

The worst was I’d go on long runs (10-12 miles was long for me) and didn’t like carrying a bottle or camel back, so I’d just create massive cell death in my body out of convenience. Nice.

Sorry to talk about pee again, but if your pee is anything but clear or close to clear than you are dehydrated.

Most Americans are in a constant state of dehydration. Dehydration is linked to a number of diseases:  Muscular Dystrophy, Colitis, Diabetes, Depression, Arthritis, Cancer and more.

It contributes to a host of others. Picture a neglected potted plant. That could be you. The only thing I ask you to do is try and drink a glass of water every hour. I can’t do it and I try every day. If you’re lucky you’ll get 8 glasses in you and that’s the minimum you need. In the summer, with exercise, in dry climate, it’s more.

Every morning I wake up and drink a huge glass of water. I don’t like doing it sometimes but it gets my pump primed. Of course Nancy has always been a big water drinker so I just try to take after her on this as I do on most things.

Again I’d love to hear your experiences with dehydration and any attempts to rehydrate. It’s changed my life.

Big Love, Lance

What am I?

Am I vegan? Am I raw? Am I vegetarian? Am I macrobiotic? Am I ayruvedic? Do I do cleanses or colonics? Actually what I am is just healthy.

People ask me, “What do you think of The China Study? What about Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions? But you were so into Ayruveda! But when our year turned upside down and I was reading all these opposing theories, I threw all dogmatism out the window and said, we are just going to be healthy. I am going with my gut. We are going to eat what feels right. Take onions and garlic for example. Big anti-inflammatory. Ayurveda is not big on them. Tomatoes are key for lycopene but Ayurveda in general is against night shades. Nourishing Traditions thinks organic meat broth (chicken, turkey, beef) is like liquid gold but The China Study is pretty much entirely against meat and says it’s the culprit for many cancers. ARGHHH!! All this can make a person insane! I totally get the arguments for a raw diet but in the winter I want warming foods.

My philosophy basically boils down to this: I try to eat nutrient dense food (meaning, I like every bite to count and have all sorts of healing properties), and I eat seasonally. I love soups in the winter, and I go wild for salads in the summer. I am digging brussels sprouts right now and pomegranates, acorn and butternut squash. In the summer, I crave raw kale salads, arugula, yummy mixed lettuces from the farmers market, sprouts, fresh berries, peaches and cherries. Smoothies are way more appealing to me in the summer. Miso soup and dahl in the winter. Certain foods, I am pretty much eat all year round: broccoli, kale, chard, avocados and green and black mint dark chocolate. 🙂

The one thing we have 365 days a year is a big fat green juice. Frankly I crave it more in the summer but it’s still delicious, even on a snowy day.

I would love to hear what you think of all these different food theories. I am always interested in learning and hearing other people’s views.

So I am leaving you with my power breakfast. This breakfast rocks! These are also my new beautiful wooden bowls from Pieces of Vermont. I love them! Thanks Barb!

Bob’s Red Mill MIghty Tasty Hot Cereal: 1 Tbs. Nutiva coconut oil,1/3 cup ground flax seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon (stir up 3 ingredients in cooked hot cereal)
Top with: A low sugar granola….I am addicted to GF/Dairy Free Boulder Granola, plain goat milk kifer, pomegranate seeds or blueberries
(this recipe was inspired by my sister Lynn) 

Love, Laugh and be Healthy,
Nancy

Sugar!!

I confess. I am and always have been severely addicted to sugar. I can’t stop thinking about it. When I was in elementary school, I used to take my lunch money across the street (leaving school grounds in the 3rd grade was not allowed) to Dan’s Bait Shop which also sold a lot of goodies like Now ‘n Laters and Bubble Yum. I would stock up for the day and chow at lunch and recess. My packed lunches from home already had red vines and hostess cherry pies (every single day!). Yep, I was the kid everyone wanted to be friends with during lunch.

It went on and on into my adulthood. For Halloween, I loved that my kids didn’t like sweets, cause they would happily give me all their candy which I would eat up. (I know, bizarre, kids not liking sweets…has nothing to do with me or Nan). I loved picking up the kids from birthday parties cause I would eat all the left over cake. If I had a coffee it had to be a mocha latte (I don’t even like coffee). Cocktails…The Big Lebowski’s “Caucasian” – Kahlúa and milk (sweet and sugary). So you get the picture.

This has been one of my biggest changes in the past year. I’ve still battled the cravings and denied them almost completely. Then last week our controller at work, Pam, made everyone cookies. Justin and I sat in our office and ate them all in 30 seconds (I had two and they were small, Nan). Justin and I looked at each other like guilty kids with the proverbial hand in the cookie jar. I told Justin, “I’m addicted to sugar.” The first time I ever admitted it. Justin said the same and I quietly, at that moment, swore to eradicate sugar from my life. Now I’m making snacks like this.

Gluten-Free Avo Bruscetta
Sami’s Bakery Millet and Flax Bread
Teaspoon of Nutiva Coconut Oil
1/2 an Organic Avocado
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/2 a Organic tomato diced
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs White Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Basil

Toast bread. Shmear with Coconut Oil. Shmear with Avo. Pinch of salt. Mix diced tomato, olive oil, balsamic and basil in bowl. Pour over Avo. Eat. Yum!

My other favorite is not a plug for Justin’s but hey:

Seduction Almond Coco Toast
Slice of Seduction Bread from WFM
1 Tsp of Nutiva Coconut Oil
3 tsp of Justin’s Classic Almond (or with a little sugar Maple Almond) Butter
Cinnamon on top

So here are my two recipes that I have created all on my own. It may not be gourmet but it’s a lot better than my handful of M&M’s or cookies in the past.

I’d love to hear any snack ideas you might have ’cause Nancy and I are always looking for new ideas.

Lots of Love in 2012,
Lance