food is medicine

A little bit ago I was introduced to Tyler Anson from Everyday Warrior and was immediately inspired to put together this post and to help support the cause however I could.

If you haven’t heard about Everyday Warrior, I am glad you are here; please keep reading. The folks from Everyday Warrior believe in the warrior spirit. “That we are surrounded by individuals who when faced with challenges and hardships confront them boldly with courage, vigor and strength. Individuals, Everyday Warriors, who maintain hope and continue to inspire those around them, all while in the midst of the fight for their life. It is these people, these warriors, who we seek to support, encourage and empower.”

Everyday Warrior is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded with the primary mission to financially support, inspire and empower individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and are currently undergoing treatment.

britt_community1The program was inspired by a beautiful, courageous woman named Brittany Gill, an avid CrossFitter, wife and mother, who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cervical cancer at age 29. Upon sharing her diagnosis with her CrossFit community, a fundraiser was planned and she quickly realized the power of community support and was surrounded by the love that helped her fight. Brittany was truly a warrior. She fought bravely through aggressive chemo and radiation treatments and proved that above all she would survive. Furthermore, she proved that she could do it with a smile on her face and an IV pole over her head. While battling her cancer, Brittany Gill and her husband Matthew decided to start Everyday Warrior to honor, celebrate and support the Everyday Warriors among us and show them that No One Fights Alone!

Heartbreakingly, Brittany passed in September of 2014, but her mission, her heart, and her passion live on through this amazing organization that works tirelessly to financially support, inspire and empower individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and are currently undergoing treatment.

You can get involved by becoming a fundraiser, donating to a current campaign, or even just spreading the word! Cancer has touched us all in some way or another, and Brittany’s legacy is continuing to make a difference in lives all over the country.

So after spending time talking to Tyler and then re-watching this great video, I was inspired, and I decided to put together a post to get the word out about this amazing program, and also to help out in the best way I know how – through nutrition and education. The rest of this post is intended to help educate on the power of nutrition to fight cancer, support healing, and build strength inside and out. With supportive programs and community like Everyday Warrior and proper diet, this disease can and will continue to be beaten.

I truly believe that good nutrition and whole nourishing foods are a crucial weapon in the fight against cancer and can be incredibly vital in increasing odds of survival. Research shows that diet can have a lasting and life-saving impact for those going through cancer treatment and those pre or post-treatment to increase odds of survival in the long run. And NOTHING will beat real, whole foods with natural bioactive compounds that simply cannot be found in synthetic pills, powders, or supplements. The compounds found in whole foods have strong and proven epigenetic benefits. You cannot out-supplement a bad diet, and whole nourishing foods really are the best medicine.

The following are some of the main foods to add in to help fend off this disease, to help improve the effects of treatment, and to increase odds of survival. No one ever regretted improving his or her diet. The benefits are innumerable, and they could also help save a life.

LET’S START WITH FRUITS, VEGGIES, and HERBS (because duh)

  • b9_tumericTurmeric is incredibly potent, and in my opinion one of the most powerful superfoods there is. As little as one teaspoon a day has been shown to reduce tumor growth. Check out THIS post for all the reasons why this root should make it into your diet every single day. Then try my turmeric chili, turmeric honey elixir, or even this quiche!
  • Sticking with the orange theme. Carrots, apricots, peppers and pumpkins provide anti-cancer carotenoids like beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A, which plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health. It also helps the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively. Get your orange on with this creamy carrot and fennel soup or sub in some super simple garlicy carrot rice for that boring white rice with dinner.
  • shitakesRed and Yellow Peppers are one of the top source of vitamin C (even better than oranges). Vitamin C strengthens your immune cells and neutralizes toxins. You can also get this potent vitamin from broccoli, papaya, oranges, lemons, berries, and cherries.
  • Mushrooms are lifesavers! There is a ton of research evidence that shows how medicinal mushrooms like Shiitake, Maitake, and Cordyceps, boost the immune system, fight cancer, and help with recovery and longevity. My favorite way to get in a daily dose of mushrooms is with this mushroom and wild rice dish that will please everyone at the table.
  • Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. According to Harvard research 7-10 helpings a week cuts prostate symptoms by 40% and has an influence on many cancers such as lung, colon, cervix, and breast. Give THIS tomato soup a try to get in plenty of tomato and all kinds of flavor.
  • Garlic is a good immunity booster that also has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Green leafy and cruciferous vegetables contain folate, which helps your DNA to replicate properly and protect it during radiotherapy. You’ll also find sulforaphane, which has strong epigenetic benefits and has been shown to aid in survival. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, bok choy and Swiss chard bind estrogen in your GI tract and reduce tumor stimulation. They also detoxify the liver, which helps reduce the toxins flowing through your body that can irritate cells and turn them into early cancers. I like to add a handful of kale to a smoothie for a healthy meal on the go.
  • Green tea is also a great addition (especially in the place of coffee, which can undue stress on the body during this already stressful time). Enjoying green tea each day will help to neutralize free radicals. This powerful drink is very high in EGCG antioxidant content, which is hugely effective in cancer prevention. HERE is how I prepare mine for an added nutrient punch.

NEXT UP: MEAT AND SEAFOOD

grilled-rare-steakLook no further than THIS post to read more on how essential grass fed and pastured meat and poultry are for our health. The fatty acid composition, saturated fats (building blocks for life), omega 3s, conjugated linoleic acid, and plethora of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals make properly raised proteins essential for fueling up to fend off cancer and for supporting your body in staying healthy for the long run. Additionally, amino acids are the building blocks of life that keep our tissues (the second biggest organ of our body) strong and healthy. Strong tissues are essential in fighting off cancer.
Getting it in….
  • grass fed beef, lamb, and bison (give THESE recipes a shot)
  • pastured eggs – YES the yolk is the most important part
  • Bone broth and/or collagen peptides
  • grass fed (raw if possible) dairy – milk, cheese, and butter, which is high in Vitamin D, an essential vitamin needed for bone and tissue growth and for the most important cellular functions to keep you healthy during treatment or in remission.
  • Oily fish (herring, sardines, salmon, mackerel) for omega-3 that can re-lengthen telomeres, which shorten when you have cancer putting the DNA structure at risk. Oily fish also contain vitamin A and Vitamin D, important vitamins in the fight against cancer.
AND DON’T FORGET FAT!
  • Healthy oils (olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil) contain monounsaturated fat, which can help suppress breast cancer.coconut-oil
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and natural vitamin E. Zinc helps vitamin C do its work and accelerates healing time. Sunflower seeds will also provide a little selenium. Vitamin E boosts your immune system´s fighting abilities (these easy seedy crackers are a great source)
  • Nuts can provide selenium (brazil nuts) and healthy fats to keep you satiated and help you avoid those sugar cravings. (How about a healthy truffle?)
  • Saturated fats – coconut oil, ghee, and grass fed tallow contain vitamins, A, D and E, as well as K2 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – an antioxidant with anti-viral properties when it is sourced from grass fed cows. (Don’t fear saturated fats!)
LIFESTYLE MATTERS! (Perhaps most of all)IMG_7874
  • Make sure to PLAY every single day – do something that you love because if you take care of mind, body, and SOUL, your more likely to fight off cancer and live longer and happier.
  • Get outside! Just 15-20 minutes of sunshine every day can help you in getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, which can prevent tumor metastasis, reduce cancer cells, and aid estrogen inhibitors.
  • Move daily! Find a CrossFit gym, get out and walk, invite some friends for a bike ride. Movement and exercise daily increase endorphins, improve overall health, and give you a hedge against disease.
  • Make friends and make a change together. Community is crucial, and support is necessary.
By | 2015-08-18T17:53:50-08:00 August 18th, 2015|CrossFit, Health, Nutrition, The Mind|0 Comments

About the Author:

I am a Certified Nutrition Consultant and a Certified CrossFit Trainer. I have a passion for educating, and I absolutely love teaching others about nutrition, functional movement, and the power each has to set the foundation for health, wellness, and true quality of life. I LOVE to eat and fuel my body to live life to the utmost, and I wholeheartedly believe that sustainably sourced, nutrient dense foods can be the greatest form of medicine as well as the ingredients to create the most delicious, palate pleasing meals (it’s a win-win!)

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