In 1986 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. At the time, I was married with two young children under 5. To hear the C word was completely devastating. I kept thinking, “I won’t be around to watch my children grow up!” Thankfully I had a terrific surgeon, who through two successful operations removed 24 tumors, 12 of which were cancerous. I became a cancer survivor.
However, in 2003 I was again diagnosed with cancer, this time breast cancer. Once again, why me? There was no family history and I had always attempted to maintain a healthy lifestyle. More surgeries and radiation treatments followed and again they were a success. I’m happy to say that I’ve been cancer-free 7 years.
Surviving two life changing events renewed my conviction for taking charge of my own body. Thus began many Internet searches and consultations with numerous health care professionals on how to best accomplish this. Why I had cancer, I will never know. But I did know that I didn’t want it for a third time. My husband and I started a regular exercise regimen and we began carefully watching what kinds of foods we put into our bodies.
I began drinking vitamin and protein packed smoothies every morning. It was a great new addition to my daily routine and helped to ensure that I got nutritional diversity to jump start my day. I also enjoyed researching and educating myself on the ingredients that went into my smoothies.
In doing so, I immediately realized that soy was an incredibly controversial crop. I discovered that approximately 80% of soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified and are a high spray crop with frequent pesticide use. And while soy may have relatively high protein content, it’s not easily digestible due to trypsin inhibitors which interfere with digestion.
On this information alone, I likely would have decided soy was not a suitable option but then came the information that really sealed the deal: Various studies indicated that soy could possibly be an endocrine (hormone) disruptor and consuming soy may possibly stimulate breast tumor growth. Well, needless to say, soy wasn’t getting anywhere near my smoothies.
Next, I turned my research toward hemp. I learned that Omegas 3 and 6, which are found in the perfect 1:3 ratio in hemp, are thought to help lower the risk of breast cancer. The amino acids found in hemp may also have an effect on controlling the development of cancer cells by actually interfering with the cell’s ability to produce the energy necessary to reproduce. I had found my perfect smoothie base!
I now enjoy hemp protein powder and hemp milk in my smoothies daily. Knowing that they’re packed with protein, Omega 3 and 6, and essential amino acids make them irresistible! An added plus being that we‘re able to simply store the products in our pantry until they’re opened instead of taking up loads of refrigerator space.
The mysteries of cancer are yet to be discovered, but I believe that we are on the cusp of great advancements in the control of this disease. Being proactive about taking control of your own body is an important step in this endeavor. Doing all I can to promote my own healthy lifestyle is empowering and helps me feel that I am the one in charge of me.