What Would You Do If Your Child Was Diagnosed With Cancer?

1 week before Thanksgiving, 2013, my almost 3-year-old baby boy stopped walking. He had been complaining of back pain, leg pain and tummy aches off and on for about a month, but we shrugged it off as nothing more than the 'terrible two's." Then one day he stopped walking, like literally began crawling and would say his legs hurt too bad to walk. I remember I walked into my room, closed the door and called my friend and mentor, Kim. As soon as she answered I lost it. Through tears I told her I was worried that something really serious was wrong. I just knew in my gut. She tried to comfort me and tell me that Kicker was fine and that I was probably overreacting. 

Fast forward to 1 week later. We sat in the Loma Linda Emergency Room and were told by the ER nurse, that we were being transferred to the Pediatric Oncology Floor. I will never forget looking at my husband's blank stare when they said that, and him asking "what is the Oncology floor?"

Imagine that your job is cancer prevention. You spend your days educating on the importance of diet and detox. You teach mothers how to care for their young children, how to keep them healthy and avoid unnecessary pharmaceuticals.  Imagine speaking to large groups of people, teaching them how to prevent disease. And then your baby gets cancer. You can imagine the shock, the devastation, the questioning and the doubt. I had never felt so helpless in my life. Suddenly I didn't have an answer, I didn't know what to do, what to give my son, what to feed him. I just watched his precious body be pumped full of toxic drugs that were intended to kill this disease. This disease that I would have never imagined would invade my healthy son's body. 

What would you do? Honestly, what would you do if your child was diagnosed with cancer?

Would you crawl into a ball and rock yourself to sleep, praying that you would wake up from this nightmare? Would you beg and plead for Jesus to give the disease to you and free your child? Would you shut down and just sit helpless, with a blank stare, in a chair next to your son's bed while nurses came in with bags of posison to inject into your child's veins? Well, I did all of the above…until about 3 weeks into his diagnosis. I slowly regained conciousnes and began to stand on my own. I suddenly developed a strength that can only be credited to the Lord. I did what any other mother would do. I went into beast mode. 

After implementing a strict, nutrient dense diet, rigorous detox, and essential oils along with numerous alternative practitioners to support my son's immune system, we noticed consistent attention from physicians, nurses, other cancer families, who were in awe of how incredibly well Kicker was doing.

He was literally thriving during conventional cancer treatment. He wasn't throwing up, he wasn't getting mouth sores, he wasn't getting sick, he had incredible energy, color, appetite, no leg pain. He was kicking cancers ass. 

I began taking phone calls and emails from other cancer moms who were following our story and desperatly begging for help. Wondering how they could help their child experience similar results during treatment. Often I would get off the phone with another cancer mom and just cry. I had these mixed emotions of heartbreak as I would hear how their precious children were suffering, and then this feeling of responsibility-like I had something that I could offer to help,desperate to do so, but unsure how. 

Thus KICKcancER was born. 

3.5 years into this journey,  I can now see that our suffering has not been in vein. That our tears have been for a purpose. We have been called to help educate and empower other cancer families on how they can help their child THRIVE during conventional cancer treatment, and live a long, healthy life. Do you know of a child who has been affected by cancer? We ask you to share this movement with their family so that we can help. 

We are excited to announce our next KICKcancER Educational Retreat on October 27-29 in Berkeley, CA at the Claremont Hotel & Spa. This is an opportunity for cancer families to learn how to implement holistic therapies from experts in the fields of nutrition, detox, natural immune support, essential oils, cannabis and more. Our goal is to empower others with information so they can help their child thrive both during and after conventional cancer treatment. 

How can you help?

By sharing our movement with the world! Share it on your social media pages, in conversation with your friends and family. If you have the means, please donate to our movement so that we can provide more families with the funding to afford these alternative treatments. KICKcancER is an approved 501c3, so all donations are tax deductible. Lastly, join us in prayer. Please pray that our movement is effective and that we touch as many lives as possible, educating and empowering families to help their child THRIVE. 


How Eating More Fat Will Reduce Your Stress & Improve Your Libido

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It should not come as a surprise that the current environment in which most of us live or work, is stressful, ultimately contributing to poor physical and mental health. Whether it is financial stress, the stress of caring for an ill family member, the demands of parenting, or high expectations placed upon us from our work place, we consistently are in a ‘fight or flight’ mode.

I have always prided myself of handling stress fairly well and paid close attention to not letting outside influences affect my health. I lost control of all of that when my son was diagnosed with cancer. 

Suddenly, the stress was unbearable. I would find myself weak and dizzy, depend on caffeine to compensate for my sleepless nights. My demeanor was less pleasant; I had no energy and absolutely no sex drive. This naturally began to impact my marriage. It wasn’t until I recognized the importance of caring for myself, that I started to heal, both physically and mentally. I got back on top of my diet, increasing fat intake, decreasing caffeine and incorporating detox, essential oils and daily exercise.

Did you know that chronic stress suppresses energy production and ultimately can lead to chronic disease-whether that is mental illness, autoimmune disease, infertility, cancer, and alcoholism?

How can we keep from disease when we know that much of the time we cannot change the scope of our environment or responsibilities? An unhealthy stress response is not triggered by what happens in life, it is how our body is prepared to respond to what happens.  Stress is a natural reaction to an event, whether it is environmental, physical or emotional. If we provide our body with the raw materials it needs to function at optimal levels, we will be able to manage stressful situations in a healthy way. Specifically, by eating a nutrient dense, properly prepared diet, we can enable our body to better handle stress and in turn, protect ourselves from chronic disease.

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We have two important glands in our body called adrenal glands. They are primarily responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress. Our adrenal glands are the size of a walnut, the weight of a grape and they sit on top of our kidneys. These glands secrete more than 50 hormones, including our sex hormones, hormones that normalize blood sugar, hormones that respond to stress and maintain our immune system’s inflammatory response.  “The adrenals are known as the glands of stress,” writes James Wilson in his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. “It is their job to enable your body to deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationship problems. Your resiliency, energy, endurance and your very life all depend on their proper functioning.”

When we are under stress, our system goes into what is called ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is when our adrenals release the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, which rapidly prepare our body to swing into action in response to the present stress.

As part of this response, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, your digestion slows, and your body becomes ready to face a potential threat or challenge. You may be wondering why this would be a problem, if after all these glands are designed to handle stress, right? Well, our bodies were designed to be exposed to stress similar to what our Paleolithic ancestors experienced. They experienced ‘fight or flight’ on an occasional basis while hunting for their food, or fighting off intruders. Ironically, although our adrenal glands are in large part to help us cope with stress, too much of it is actually what causes their function to break down.

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After years of such stress, the end results are damaged adrenals. The overall production of their many hormones is too low, and the amounts produced don't function as they should. This disturbed function is reflected all around the body. We notice our health declining. Our personality is unpleasant because our disposition is irritable. Our libido has significantly decreased, we experience terrible allergies, depend on caffeine to keep us going, we notice an increased time to recover from illness, mild depression and chronic fatigue. These are just some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which if not addressed can lead to chronic disease.

So what exactly can we do to minimize the effect of stress on our health? In clinical practice, I would see clients who were suffering from severe stress, experience healing with dietary and lifestyle changes. The well being of our adrenals depends in large measure upon what we eat. Therefore, it is quite possible to improve our disposition, increase our energy and change our health for the better by selecting the foods we eat carefully. For example, when you eat sugar and refined carbohydrates, your body turns them into glucose once digested. An overabundance of glucose in our system places our body into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Our body recognizes too much glucose as a stress, therefore putting the adrenals to work in order to respond to the stress. If we look at our modern diet it is full of ‘glucose.’ We often consume fast food, refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc.

It would then be fair to say that simply removing sugar and refined carbohydrates from our diet can significantly improve the amount of stress our body has to deal with.

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A diet consisting of healthy fats, good quality proteins and non-starchy carbohydrates will help support our adrenal function and overall health. One of the most important foods for our adrenal glands is healthy fat. Eating healthy fats coming from grass fed and pastured animals, nuts and seeds as well as tropical oils such as coconut oil, feeds our adrenal glands the nutrients it needs to maintain function. Fats are also the preferred source of energy for the body. Our cells, organs and hormones are made of fat. In fact, our sex hormones, which are secreted by the adrenal glands, are made from cholesterol.  Without healthy fats we are unable to make estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, ultimately leading to low libido and infertility. We also need good quality fat to help slow the absorption of glucose in the system, therefore taking some of the ‘stress’ away from the adrenals in regulating blood sugar.

It is also important to be consistent about eating, eating three meals a day and snack in between if necessary. Letting ourselves get to the point of extreme hunger, which nutritionally is considered a state of ‘low blood sugar,’ will put our system into unnecessary stress. Aside from eating a nutrient dense diet, high in healthy fats and low in refined sugar, I also advise practicing regular detox. Here is a great post about 4 detox methods to implement. Prayer and meditation are very powerful tools to use against stress. Taking 10 minutes in the morning to start your day in the presence of God and setting your intentions for the day will help you choose joy and practice thanksgiving. I personally enjoy yoga, it gives me an hour a day to be quiet, get some exercise and reflect on my intentions. 

Essential oils can be very helpful for adrenal health. In fact, Basil, Rosemary, Clove and Elevation are all therapeutic oils known to bring balance to our adrenal glands. I would recommend using 2 drops of each oil and rubbing over the adrenal glands and bottoms of feet two times per day. 

Lastly, I would encourage each and everyone of us to take a moment to reflect on what we have to be thankful for. In this last year of 'stress' that I have lived out, I have found that taking a deep breath, and living life 15 minutes at a time has allowed me to be thankful for the good and not dwell on the bad, worry over the long to do list, or the unpaid bills. So much of our physical health is in our own hands. We have the choice to be happy, we have the choice to eat healthy and we have the choice to continue educating ourselves on ways to live longer, healthier and happier lives. #choosejoy

 

 

 

Healthy Halloween..Is There Such a Thing?

Is there any slight possibility to skip past Oct. 31st and pretend like it never happened? Call me bahumbug, but it really is my least favorite day of the year. I have never loved Halloween and really don't enjoy dressing up. Maybe it is the creepiness, maybe it is the extra effort required to dress up, perhaps it is the toxic handfuls of 'treats' passed out to small children…..Either way, now I do have young children and they think Halloween is fun. So darn it, I have to participate. 

Those of you who know me, know that my kids don't eat candy. If you have ever seen us at the grocery store, you would have heard my 4-year-old pointing to everything on the shelves that is colorful and loudly declaring "momma that has yucky food coloring!" No honey, thats an apple and Jesus made it red. One time when we were at the grocery store in the checkout line, my precious 6-year-old turned to the little boy behind us who was picking out a bag of M&M's and said "thats not healthy, you shouldn't eat that," then quickly turned to me and asked "can I have one?" So you can see that my efforts aren't entirely in vein, but my children are real kids and have real life desires. 

Have you heard about The Great Pumpkin? He trades candy for presents. My kids get dressed up and enjoy carrying their plastic pumpkin door to door declaring "can I have some candy?" (maybe this year they will follow the rules and politely declare "trick or treat"). They get to eat 2 pieces of candy each, one while they are trick or treating and one afterwards. The rule I have is that the candy cannot have food coloring or high fructose corn syrup. So now picture me sitting on the living room floor reading.every.single.label. until they FINALLY find a piece of candy that is Season Johnson approved. Once they enjoy their 2 pieces of candy, they place their plastic pumpkins full of toxins, uh hem, I mean candy, in front of the fireplace. They write a letter to the Great Pumpkin and go to bed dreaming of what they might find in the morning.

You see, the Great Pumpkin comes in the middle of the night and takes the candy back to candy land and leaves a present for each full bucket of candy. Last year Selah received a princess dress and Kicker received a sword and shield.   

Win-win, right?! What do we do with the candy? We dump it in the trash. I am NOT going to send it to the soliders, donate it to the less fortunate or save it until next year. It is not worthy of anyone that I care about to consume.

A few additional ideas to make Halloween Healthy:

Breakfast:

Sourdough Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins: These are delicious and nutrient dense. My kids know that halloween morning they get a special treat! Make sure to use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips as they are soy free and refined sugar free.

Snack:

Mini Pumpkins (tangerines with a celery top)

Ghosts (bananas with chocolate chips for eyes, attached with peanut butter)

Dinosaur Blood (fresh squeezed juice with beets, apple and orange).

Dinner:

Pumpkin Casserole-this is a hearty, delicious dinner that is full of healthy fat and protein and has a sweet taste that your kids will love! To make it even more special, you can serve it in a carved out mini pumpkin!