Chapter 6: Eat Your Veggies and Shake Your Butt
"Remember the Milton Bradley game Operation? Well, before cancer forced me to educate myself, that juvenile game was my main reference for the body's organ systems. I was still looking for the 'wishbone' when, out of nowhere, my vascular system blew up! Why hadn't I been paying attention? Why had I been strutting around in stupid acting classes? I should have gone to medical school.
"Back then, I had no idea how to take care of myself, to eat right and nourish my body. My idea of nutrition was based on what to eat to keep (or whittle away) my figure for my job. PowerBars, coffee, fat-free this and take-out that: My meals were planned according to convenience. I didn't have time to cook! Order, pick up, or nuke, that pretty much describes my old routine. I chose restaurants based on wine lists, not the nutritional value of their food.
"Then I got sick and my doctor said there was no cure. My body was asleep at the wheel. Or was I? Not that I thought I gave myself cancer, as some people wanted me to believe. Yet I couldn't help but wonder: In my ignorance, had I pulled the trigger on an already existing predisposition? Was my immune system struggling as I looked the other way, partied, and numbed out? I'll never know for sure, but it was certainly food for thought.
"When my wonderful doctor told me to 'watch and wait,' I went nuts. I'm Stage IV and there is no Stage V. So I choose to explore alternative/holistic medicine, not because I wanted to be a brave pioneer, but because in my mind there were no other options. To watch and wait and do nothing felt totally disempowering. I wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. So I gave it the ol' college try.
"What should I eat? Healthy or sick, it's a question that plagues us all. Low carbs? No carbs? Macrobiotics? South Beach? The Maker's Diet? The Blood Type Diet? It's so confusing, and it seems like everyone has the Holy Grail answer.
"The body is phenomenally mysterious, and yet the answer to the diet conundrum is actually quite straightforward: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I wish I could take credit for that one, but I can't.
"Today, we're infusing our food with tons of poisonous garbage not meant for human consumption! Chemicals, hormones, pesticides, and countless other toxic substances are clogging up and polluting both our inner and outer environments. Gardens are being replaced by test tubes, and the American public has become one big science experiment.
"When we make the connection between what we consume and how we feel, a great transformational shift can occur. How many times do you select food for emotional comfort rather than fuel? Guess what the No. 1 most consumed vegetable in this country is? The French fry. The second? Ketchup.
"Emotional comfort! Most people live to eat and don't eat to live. We scarf down our chow like we're hooked up to a feedbag and then wonder why we feel so bloated, cranky and exhausted."
Reprinted with permission from "Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips," published by skirt! Books, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. To purchase this book, go online to skirt.com or a local bookstore.