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Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Cancer-Fighting Bloody Mary!

The Fabulous, Healthy, "Non-Alcoholic" recipe comes from TTAC (thetruthaboutcancer)...

Here is a look at the ingredients in this ultra-healthy and delicious juiced drink:
Red Beets – Beets help protect against cancer, particularly colon cancer. There is also something called “Beet Therapy” which doctors have used to get rid of tumors and to help with blood diseases and leukemia. Beets are also rich in betaine, which stimulates liver cell function and helps keep the bile ducts healthy and flowing so that the body can properly eliminate toxins.
Carrots – Carrots and carrot juice have been widely used to successfully beat cancer, sometimes as a standalone treatment. Among the many healthy compounds found in this root vegetable are polyacetylenes, which studies have found to be beneficial against inflammation and cancer.
Tomatoes – In addition to providing the tomato juice that gives the characteristic red color to Bloody Mary drinks, tomatoes help guard the DNA in your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Tomatoes contain a particularly high concentration of the antioxidant called lycopene.
Baby Spinach – Spinach is one of the healthiest dark green leafy vegetables. It contains a large number of valuable vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Spinach is especially rich in folic acid. Folic acid helps maintain the cell’s genetic code and regulate normal cell division.
Broccoli – Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable − a group of vegetables that are among the most powerful cancer fighting foods to be found. Cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and important antioxidants such as beta carotene and sulforaphane compounds. Cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates. These are phytochemicals which help break down potential carcinogens. They also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which help prevent estrogen-driven cancers.
Wheatgrass – Wheatgrass is one of the most potent superfoods on the planet and is used as a primary component of some alternative cancer treatments. Primary among its many cancer-fighting ingredients is chlorophyll, which has almost the same molecular structure as hemoglobin. Chlorophyll also contains the noted cancer-fighters selenium and laetrile.
Celery –  Celery is a powerfully healthy vegetable that is most noted for helping regulate blood pressure. It is also a powerful cancer fighter and it contains apigenin and luteolin, compounds which are bioactive flavonoids that fight cancer cells.
Garlic (2-3 cloves) – Garlic, as well as onions, leeks, and chives, have immune-enhancing allium compounds. These compounds increase immune cell activity, help break down cancer causing substances, and block carcinogens from entering cells. Studies have linked garlic to lowering the risk of stomach and colon cancer. Diallyl sulfide, a compound found in garlic oil, has also been shown to incapacitate carcinogens in the liver.
Cayenne (as much as you can comfortably drink) – Hot peppers such as cayenne (chili peppers) and jalapenos contain capsaicin − a chemical which fights cancer and helps neutralize certain cancer-causing nitrosamines. Hot peppers are especially valuable for helping prevent stomach cancers.
Whole Lemon – Lemons are widely used in anti-cancer diets and treatments. Studies have found that lemon extract can successfully destroy malignant cells in a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.
Turmeric Root (or powdered turmeric if you can’t find turmeric root) – Turmeric is a popular kitchen spice whose main ingredient is curcumin. Curcumin has become a rising star against cancer in recent years. Its powers have been detailed in a whopping 8963 studies and papers in PubMed, the U.S. national library of medicine.
Tip: Choose organic and fresh, locally grown ingredients as much as possible for the healthiest recipe. Also, wash all fruits and vegetables well before cutting or adding to the recipe.

Directions for Making a Juiced “Bloody Mary”

1. Use a more or less equal amount of the above ingredients, except for perhaps using a few extra tomatoes, using only a few cloves of garlic, and using only as much cayenne pepper as you can tolerate.
2. Juice the above ingredients in a quality low-RPM juicer such as the Omega Vert 350HD used by this author. Note that high RPM juicers oxidize the ingredients and greatly reduce the juice’s health benefits.
3. Add fresh ground black pepper, turmeric powder (if you cannot find turmeric root to juice), and Himalayan salt to taste after making the juice. Then, plop in a celery stalk and perhaps a couple of green olives and enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Notes on Juicing

  • As a cancer preventive, enjoy a couple of glasses several times a week. As a cancer fighter and detoxer, drink 6 or more tall glasses per day for at least a week with no other food consumed. After that, continue drinking several glasses a day along with a healthy diet and other cancer-fighting supplements thereafter.
  • For a sweeter morning version, substitute apples for the tomatoes and also add ginger.
  • The key to getting the maximum benefit from juiced drinks is to consume them while the plant enzymes are still “live.” Thus it is best to only make as much as you will be able to drink within a couple of days instead of making large batches that may take days to consume.

I've always wanted a good juicer and this recipe gives me the push needed to get started... Join me?  Starting the new year determined to clean up our diet and make healthy eating/drinking a lifestyle that sticks!  So, All together... Bottoms up!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

And Suddenly... It was Toast!

Alright, then... I woke up and realized it was 2017!

So... welcome 2017!  Yep... surprised me a wee bit you did.

Praying it's a good year! And sending love and hope in abundance to each one traveling this cancer road.  May all your surprises be, always and only, the best kind :-)

My Love, Always

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beauty in Graced Endings

Just when a year seems to be heading for long and dreary...

We are graced with a gift, pure and sweet...{God is good like that}

Great-Grandpa Poppy is smitten!

And so is Grandpa Steve...

Welcome to the world sweet little Violet

You make our hearts smile...
and assure that new beginnings are always possible!

God is all about new beginnings.
{He is good like that!}

Happy New Year...
May you find Grace in the Journey
from Beginning to End.

My Love, Always,

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hope for a Weary World

Praying Hope and Love over all our loved ones
near and far...

May you feel a Mighty Peace holding you close
this Christmas night!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A New Christmas Wrinkle...

Losing Mom right before Christmas has become a complicated part of our journey.

Pancreatic cancer didn't care about our wonderful Christmas traditions, nor the pain her death would cause each year as we faced the season without her... these past 5 years have seen our traditions change in many ways as we try to balance the beauty and grace of Christmas with the aching loss we will always feel.

And this year the tightrope of balance has been shaken hard, for after much agonizing, too many health  scares, and oh, so much prayer, Dad has made the decision to move into an Assisted Living Home.

This past month has been an emotional cauldron.

Decisions, questions, tours, talking, praying, discussing... and finally deciding...

Deep breath.  {It will be ok}

Dad has chosen a beautiful new facility just down the street.  And he moved in with a smile born of equal amounts grace and grit. This has not been easy.

We are calling it his apartment... and decorating like mad... making it home... learning new names to go with new faces... developing new routines... finding our footing...

It would seem that Christmas in our family is destined to be colored by change.  Even as I long for those traditions that comfort and soothe, we are breaking from the old and preparing for the new...

And a lightbulb blinks on in this weary head of mine... for that is exactly what Christmas is all about... yes?

A Christ-Child born to us... come to make all things new... for the old will pass away in the light of his wholly transforming gift of Grace.

 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new."
 II Corinthians 5:17

Amen... Amen... Balm to this aching heart...

{It will be ok!}

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

It's Ok to "Lean Out" this Christmas...

Every now and then a word can bring peace to a troubled soul...

And if you are feeling the weight of this special season {and not the magic}, then perhaps Laura's story from over at The Grief Toolbox will resonate just a bit:

When It's Not 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.' 

"Ten years ago, while grieving the sudden loss of my father, I decided to actively avoid the build-up leading to Christmas. Thanksgiving had nearly done me in, and I couldn’t handle an entire month of cheer accompanying another grief milestone.

My plan? Avoid the mall. Or any store that might play Christmas music. Only buy presents for my immediately family. No wrapping — just gift bags. Don’t open any mail that looked like a Christmas card. Don’t decorate. Definitely don’t watch any Christmas movies. And for the love, avoid any and all versions of “The Christmas Shoes” at all costs.

My plan worked for about a day. But then my coworkers started listening to Christmas music at their desks. I started receiving e-mails about holiday parties. The stores below my loft were decked out with tinsel and lights. Everyone else was leaning way in to the magic of the season, and I could hardly breathe. What was once my favorite time of year slowly but surely threatened to destroy me.

My grief and depression didn’t manifest itself as sadness. At least, not all the time. It mostly manifested itself as a blackout rage.

The month of December made me furious. For the first time in my life, it was not “the most wonderful time of the year.” It was a mirror, reflecting everything I’d lost.

Every gift from my secret Santa was a reminder that I had one less person to shop for. Every Christmas card a reminder that my family had a gaping hole that would never be filled. Every party was hours of torture for me, trying to appear festive and light while swimming in darkness. I hated it.

Every minute of it.

For many of our friends and family, the holiday season will be the final highlight of a year that included unimaginable joy: a wedding, a birth, a promotion, an exciting new chapter in life. And for just as many, the new chapters might be painful: an illness, a divorce, depression, grief or death.

There are times when “leaning in” to the holidays really can help change your mindset. You fake holiday cheer long enough and eventually you experience the real thing. If that has worked for you, wonderful! I’ve done that, too, and I’ll honestly do quite a bit of that this year.

But for some of us, December might be the most painful month we’ve experienced in an already painful year. It might feel as if there’s nothing worth celebrating, and we’ll feel guilty, feeling like we’re dragging others down. The contrast of joy around us and despair within us will be too confusing. Too bittersweet. Too devastating.

For some of us, this might be the one holiday season in our lives we simply can’t handle. If that’s true for you or someone you love, my message is this: it’s OK to “lean out” this year.
  • You don’t have to decorate your house or put up a tree.
  • You don’t have to send holiday cards.
  • You don’t have to accept any holiday party invitations.
  • You don’t have to buy presents.
  • You don’t have to honor family traditions.
  • You don’t have to be festive and cheerful.
  • You don’t have to succumb to the pressure to make the season magical for everyone else.
Your one job this year is to make it through the season.

Maybe that means December just looks like any other month. Maybe that means you only accept a few holiday invites instead of over-scheduling yourself. Maybe you forgo gift giving and instead volunteer your time. Maybe you reach out to someone else who is hurting, and you quietly acknowledge the season together. Maybe you schedule a vacation and spend the holidays in a new city. If you are religious, maybe this is the year you strip the season down to its origin.

It’s OK to simplify. It’s often crucial to simplify.

This holiday season might just be one painful struggle after another. And it’s OK to acknowledge that and operate accordingly.

It might not be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but you will get through it. And there will be the promise of a new year."

~ Laura Coward, The Mighty

Yes... this magical time of the year isn't always the most wonderful, especially for those walking their own grief out.

Praying we can all be gentle with each other as we navigate this minefield of loss and pain.  God chose to enter into our lives during the darkest of nights in the most lowly of places... he understands our dark and heartache.  And He comes to give us Hope.

May you feel loved wrapped around you this night.

There is Grace enough for this too, Always,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Hallelujah Christmas

Preparing my heart this Christmas season...

Beautiful lyrics, swelling chorus... for a baby born to us...

May your spirit be lifted this night, as we begin to celebrate...

A Hallelujah Christmas!