Starting this vegan/plant-based diet is harder for me than I thought.

So for the last three months I’ve been on a semi-plant based diet. Yes, semi, cause I’m a sucker for milk in my coffee, chocolate, tacos de asada, fried chicken and everything in between.  I’ve eliminated processed foods, red meat and pork, so that’s a start, right?

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So I grew up in an agricultural community but lived off boxed and processed foods in my youth. Chef Boyardi, Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, McDonald’s, my goodness you name it, I ate it. My mom cooked of course but I was a hungry kid and she didn’t know how to say no. Besides, I’m the youngest of 5 kids so I think she was tired by the time she got to me.

So in my journey to become this know it all leaf eater, I’ve purchased The China Study by T. Campbell to encourage me with stats, science and backed data that I should be eating more greens, all the time for every meal. I’ve also started researching Dr. Sebi’s theories out of curiosity. Here are some alternatives I’ve found are pretty tasty to sub some foods I’m trying to permanently eliminate from my diet.

Milk in coffee– I tried everything and almond milk does not cut it, it’s too nutty (I know, I know) however, there’s something about the natural sugar in the milk and the way that it blends in my coffee that absolutely makes me happy in the morning. So my boss lady recommended cashew milk, and it was not bad! Pretty good with the coffee.

Protein powder- Pea protein is strong, good for those avoiding dairy but I suggest putting a whole lot of fruit and honey (or maple syrup) to neutralize the taste. Rice protein is a little lighter on the taste and it’s easy to mix with other ingredients. My very basic shakes include almond milk and water as a base, handful and berries, some flax seed and the protein. Super boring I know. My kid hates them.

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Protein- I’ve cut down on the meat, chicken and fish I consume- although I still do eat  a few ounces a week. I just eat more pinto or peruano beans, lentils and grilled broccoli. People freak out very easily when you don’t eat meat. They always ask, “where do you get your protein from?” Hello-like it’s only available from animals? Most people don’t know that unless you are active or work out a lot, protein is converted into fat. On days I don’t work out (which is a lot), I don’t stress over it, or if I need it, I make my boring smoothie to compensate.

I’ll add more stuff on here as I discover, eat and dabble more. I’m no expert for sure but I do enjoy eating and reading about this stuff.

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When you learn about the unimaginable.

Can you imagine getting the call from the doctor that the biopsy in fact concluded you have the big C? I didn’t. Especially at the age of 30. Before this, I always thought I had at least 7-10 years before I had to seriously worry about things going downhill. That was my ignorant perspective based off past performance, at least from my family health history. I will say, I’m very lucky to have a strong support system. And as loving and caring as my family is, that does not erase the reality that my short-lived financial stable life is in jeopardy. However, I stop and remind myself, “everything will be fine, it has to be.” See, most of my life I’ve been pretty healthy; an ear infection here and there, a weak immune system during the flu season- I mean that’s all. Pretty healthy, right? Then my insurance was getting cancelled and I figure I go get my physical done and that dreaded pap completed. A week later, I get a call that the cells are abnormal, I’m thinking, “great, now I have to go back and get a Colpo.” I was more annoyed than concerned. Got through the Colpo and I’ll admit, I started getting worried. Especially after the Doc mentioned the cells looked moderate-severely abnormal. I wouldn’t get the results from the biopsy for another week. As I mentally, physically and financially prepare for surgery, I think about the women are living like me right now. This blog is for them.

My thoughts are with those women who are alone, who found out too late or who don’t have the time to go get checked and are unknowingly living with something that is slowly defeating and killing their bodies.

Here are some key stats according to an informational post published by San Diego State University: 

  • In 2017, an estimated 12,820 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women.3
  • In 2017, an estimated 4,210 U.S. women will die from cervical cancer.3
  • Based on 2010-2012 data, an estimated 250,000 women in the U.S. are living with cervical cancer.4
  • Most invasive cervical cancers are found in women who have not been routinely screened.5
  • In 2012, an estimated 11.4% of women in the United States had not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years. This estimate is higher for women with no health insurance (23.1%) and for those without a regular health care provider (25.5%).6
  • From 2006-2012, the median age of cervical cancer diagnosis was 49.4 However, older women remain at risk. More than 15% of new cases are diagnosed in women over 65. Cervical cancer in women younger than age 20 is rare.1
  • In the U.S., Hispanic women have the highest rate of cervical cancer, followed by African- Americans, Caucasians, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and Asian American/Pacific Islanders. Mortality rates are highest for African American women.7
  • When detected at its earliest stage, cervical cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate of approximately 92%. For regional disease, it is approximately 57%. If cancer has spread to distant organs, 5-year survival drops to approximately 17%.4