I made this plaque a few months ago at a Women of Purpose in Christ ladies event at Board and Brush. It’s a little rustic, and has a couple of mistakes here and there, but what you can’t see is that it has a beautiful glittery shimmer covering it. It reminds of how life can be- a little shabby and not perfect, but with a nice shimmer of Hope all over. I have placed it on my wall in the middle of our living room to encourage me that it IS a GOOD day.
It’s now been over 2 years that I received a cancer diagnosis and I’m thankful to say that for the most part I am doing pretty well. The last time I had my blood checked, my lymphocytes had not increased, praise God! I’m due to have bloodwork again soon. But I’ll be honest, some days are not great. While I might look like I’m doing well, there are days when I really struggle to get out of bed. To be expected I guess, when you’re dealing with a chronic blood cancer. I think my kids are the only ones who see how things really go on a day to day basis.
According to the Experts there is no cure for CLL, so I am doing as much as I can to heal myself naturally. It takes a lot of time, money, discipline and energy to keep up with everything and honestly, some days I would like to just do nothing regarding my treatments. But I do it anyway, because I won’t give up. It’s those times when I really thank God for the Sabbath day- a time to cease from the cares of this world and rest in Jesus.
I don’t really like to talk much about my cancer for a few different reasons. Mostly, I just want to live life to the fullest andnot be ruledby the diagnosis. I also want to stay positive especially for my kids and hubby and loved ones. Sometimes It just makes me sad. I won’t lie, a day never goes by that I don’t contemplate the issue. My mind wonders many things, especially, will I EVER feel normal again? I’m not a fan of the phrase “new normal” I want to be in the REAL normal.
What about prognosis? My specialists say that most people live for 14 plus years with this disease, but that data is based on folks being diagnosed around 75 or older. I was diagnosed at 49, how will that affect me, or not??
Then after the questions come the feelings, and lots of them.
I feel TIRED many times exhausted both physically and mentally.
I feel PERPLEXED, wondering how I got this cancer, what caused it? Could I have prevented it?
I feel THANKFUL but at the same time I also feel GUILTY. Thankful that my cancer is not an aggressive one, but at the same time guilty, knowing that several friends and loved ones have died or are currently suffering from other more aggressive forms of cancer.
And I feel WORRIED. Worried that according to some stories I have heard, that CLL can turn into something more serious and that I would die before my kids grow up and are ready to be on their own.
At the same time however, I feel PEACE, because I know that my God has a plan for all of us and I have faith in HIS healing and HIS will.
You might ask, why am I talking about it now? I was recently thinking about my situation and the thought came to me that if I don’t talk about it, how will I help other women who may be going through the same thing? So you may find me talking more about this in the future, and please, if you are going through something similar don’t hesitate to share with us here or send me a message.
Before I go, let me leave you with this blessing from the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:
‘May Yahweh bless you and protect you. May Yahweh smile on you and be gracious to you. May Yahweh show you His favor and give you His peace.’
If you’re like me and have a strict food budget to stick to, you know nothing should go to waste. Using up your leftovers is super important. Ever have roast chicken leftover in that clear and black plastic box? Here’s an easy idea on how to make a whole new meal with your leftovers! It’s so easy to put together and tastes great! You can use what you have on hand to add to the recipe, be creative and don’t let anything go to waste!
What you can use:
Leftover roasted chicken, (organic is always best) chopped in small 1 inch or-so pieces
Leftover white rice (I like Basmati best) You can make a quick broth with vegetable scraps for the rice also.
Organic kale chopped
5-6 Japanese dried chilies chopped coarsely
½ to 1 TB Fresh ginger minced
1 medium red onion chopped finely
Naturally fermented soy sauce
Fresh or dried lemongrass (optional)
Fresh or dried orange peek slivered in small pieces (optional)
Any leftover cooked vegetables on hand
2-3 cloves fresh garlic minced
Green onion julienned
(I actually added some leftover cabbage salad also)
Sauté red onion, dried chilies, ginger and peanuts, lemongrass and orange peel in extra virgin coconut oil.
Add chicken and kale cook till heated through. Remove lemongrass and now mix in rice and all remain ingredients except fresh garlic .You can also add a bit of water to the bottom of the plastic chicken container swirl around and add the rest of the flavorful gelatin-y broth.
Add soy sauce and mix in to taste, salt and pepper to taste.
Finally add in garlic, lemongrass and green onions to decorate. Enjoy!!
Mexican Meatball Soup, one of my most favorite and easiest dishes! This healthy soup is made with nourishing bone broth, lots of superfood spices and fresh organic vegetables. Great for cold winter days or when you’re just feeling like you need a boost. I incorporated a few non traditional spices to add more immune boosting power to every spoonful!
3 lbs organic ground beef
2 cups cooked white organic rice or organic quinoa
3 cups finely chopped organic carrots (I use carrot juice pulp when I have it)
In a large bowl mix ground beef, 1 TB salt, pepper, turmeric, celery salt, clove powder, and egg. I like to use plastic gloves and mix by hand. Then add in parsley, carrots, minced garlic, and ginger. Lastly, break up rice or quinoa and gently mix in.
Form meatballs anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 inches diameter depending and how you like to eat them (or how much of a rush you are in lol!) In a large pan, brown the meatballs in avocado oil and turn periodically till all sides are browned. Don’t let them cook all the way through though.
Remove meatballs into a large soup pot and add broth. Bring to a boil and skim scum off the top. Add chopped red onion and celery, lower heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Check a meatball or two to make sure they are cooked through. Add additional salt to taste, and more pepper and minced garlic if desired. You could also add a chopped serrano pepper or chipotle for more zest and spice!
Serve into bowls and add garnishes if desired. Can be stored in refrigerator for about 4 days. You can also use ground organic turkey for this recipe. Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think!
White rice is a staple in many cultures, but alone it doesn’t really have much nutritional value. Here’s an idea for a great tasting rice that will provide more nutrition and also spice up your life a bit!
I try to use homemade broths as much as possible in my cooking and this one great option. Instead of water, you can use beef, chicken, or vegetable broth in your recipes. I came across this Green Rice recipe from Pati Jinich. At first glance my son first saw the bright green color and said “Mom it looks like you cooked up Oscar the Grouch” lol!! So after hearing this, my daughter decided to do up a quick gouache painting of Oscar just for fun! However besides the laughs, everyone tried the rice and all were pleased with how it came out.
Spinach is one the healthiest foods available, abundant in Vitamin C and super immune booster.
We try to eat it several times a week, cooked lightly in ghee or organic butter, because raw spinach contains substances that block calcium absorption. This article from WebMD (https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-spinach#) details many of the benefits of adding spinach to your diet. For example, the article states that spinach may promote:
Lower Blood Pressure because of its potassium content.
Promote Healthy Eyes an excellent source of lutein which may protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
Improved Cognition lutein may also preserve cognitive abilities, including verbal fluency, memory, reasoning and processing speed.
Healthy Bones spinach has high amounts of vitamin K which is essential to bone health.
Healthy Skin vitamin A in spinach can support skin tissue growth, keep skin hydrated and reduce wrinkles, but it also helps skin stay hydrated, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Healthy Blood spinach is an excellent source of iron which helps the body make hemoglobin which, is needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
Spinach also contains glutathione which is an antioxidant that may protect against cancer.
Green Rice/Arroz Verde Recipe
Adapted from original recipe from patijinich.com
For white rice:
3 cups bone, vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 clove organic garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice or basmati rice
1 whole serrano chile (optional)
For the green sauce:
3 cups packed organic baby spinach, washed and drained
1 tablespoon ghee or organic butter
3 cloves organic garlic, (I wash and chop off the ends, but leave the peels on since it’s going into the blender for more nutrition!)
1 jalapeno chile, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/3 cup chopped organic fresh basil or chopped cilantro, or both
1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt
First make the rice:
Combine the broth or water, onion, garlic, salt and serrano chile in a blender and puree until smooth.
Heat avocado oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until it is translucent, I like to let it cook just a bit more so some rice is just the slightest bit “goldened”.
Pour in the onion/garlic puree and stir well. Bring to a boil, skim foam from top, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Prepare green sauce:
Cook spinach in a saucepan, with about 1/3 cup water, put enough water to cover the bottom, approximately 1/4 cup, add the spinach and set over medium heat. Cook until wilted but not overcooked. Add ghee or butter and mix thoroughly. (Cooking spinach slowly with a healthy fat may increase bioavailability of nutrients.)
Put the spinach and water into a blender and add cilantro or basil, jalapeño and garlic cloves and the rest of the salt. Blend until smooth.
When you are ready to serve the rice, toss the rice lightly with a fork, then pour the green sauce over and mix thoroughly, so all grains are coated in the sauce.
You can serve this rice with black beans to make a complete protein!
So in spite of it’s unique bright green color, this rice has a delicious flavor and some zing if you decide to add the chilies in. Of course using broth will add another wonderful dimension to the taste! If you like, add a spritz of fresh lemon juice to your plate of rice just before eating. Enjoy!
(I’m wearing Beautycounter Satin Powder Blush in Passion Fruit above)
What is so important about safer and less toxic beauty products?
You may know that our skin is the largest organ of the human body. That’s why it’s critical to take care of it in a way that is healthy and nourishing just like we do for the rest of our body. What we put on our skin not only may soften, tighten, or heal, but the products we use can also be absorbed into the bloodstream, reaching the internal organs of the body. If we’re not using high quality and non or less toxic products, we can seriously affect our health.
So because of this, I try to avoid conventional body and hair care as much as possible, instead using things like coconut and castor oil, castile soap and little to no makeup. With a little patience (and some great essential oils) you can switch over to making really great and effective natural personal care products for yourself. I also like to support local businesses that make handmade skin care products when I can.
But let’s be honest, sometimes we just don’t have the time or patience to make fresh aloe vera shampoo every week or handmade goat milk soap lol! I’ll admit that I have tried making organic beet powder lipstick and it doesn’t stay on for long lol!! Since I really need to watch my toxic load because of cancer, I needed quality less toxic cosmetics that I can feel comfortable using that work well at the same time.
Over a year ago started researching some of the companies that provide safer options for cosmetics and body care. I wanted to find a company that I could market through my website and not have to reinvent the wheel doing it. After procrastinating for a long time, and honestly because Covid really hurt us financially, I knew I needed to bring in more income so we wouldn’t have to dig into our life savings to pay for my cancer treatments.
So I chose Beautycounter, they have an excellent selection of safer. less toxic skin care and makeup products, there are also a few choices for my vegan friends! They are truly concerned about getting quality cosmetics to people and have a great business model. It also helped that my natural living hero- Kelly Moeggenborg of Kelly the Kitchen Kop https://kellythekitchenkop.com/ has been working with Beautycounter for some time, and I have been trusting her recommendations for years! She is now my Beautycounter mentor and I couldn’t be more excited to work with her!
“… To get safer products into the hands of everyone.
Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it’s in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home. There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many don’t have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry. What’s worse is that the Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) does not have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies and on our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day.” (Beautycounter.com, accessed December 2020)
Beautycounter products certainly don’t come cheap, I was used drugstore cosmetics but their quality is excellent. The products I use the most are the basics: lipstick, blush, and mascara. I love their sunscreen and facial cream for daytime. I still like to use this castor oil https://amzn.to/3gNGvrn and rosemary essential oil at night. I have been trying more and more products as I go and will share the results with you.
And if you’re not a big makeup artist like me, let’s learn together. While I wear lipstick and blush just about everyday, I haven’t done any fancy makeup for ages! There are some great tutorials and makeup ideas available!
I would also like to ask a favor – if you find that these products just aren’t in your budget at the moment, please consider supporting my small business by liking my Facebook @BeckyBLivingFree and IG @BeckyBarranca pages and giving me a like and/or comment here and there, it really helps me get more exposure!
Fire Cider is an immune boosting elixir that you can make at home that provides natural immune boosting properties and is also a great digestion aid. I will make a video soon, but I wanted to get this recipe out to you now, especially as we are in the midst of Covid 19 fears. This is just one more thing you can do to continue boosting your immune system and try to avoid getting sick!
Horseradish about 1 ½ cups chopped
Fresh organic ginger root, about 1/2 cup
Organic garlic 10-15 cloves
Serrano Chile Peppers 2-3
Red onion 1
Dried Rosemary 1 tsp
Organic black pepper 1 tsp
Powdered turmeric 1 tsp
Cayenne pepper ½ tsp
To fill a ½ gallon glass mason jar
Then add organic raw apple cider to cover
Let sit in a dark area for at least 30 days shaking often.
Make sure to use a plastic cap on the mason jar
After 30 strain into a clean mason jar with an unbleached cheesecloth and make sure to squeeze out all the liquid into the jar.
Add raw honey to taste if desired.
Enjoy a tablespoon or two a day, and more it you feel something coming on.
*This post is not intended to be medical advice. Check with your health care professional before using.
Times are scary and confusing right now. So many paradoxes. But, do you have a plan?
We don’t know what to think.
We are seeing Covid numbers increasing in Arizona and other states. Sadly people are dying and healthcare workers are severely overworked. Yet in many areas we see deaths decrease or stay steady on average.
We are fiercely concerned for our loved ones but at the same time we see that survival rate averages more than 99%. We hear of hospitals invoking their own Do Not Resuscitate policies without the patient’s consent due to age and or fragility. On the other hand we hear of 100 year old patients recovering fully.
A ton of new cases appear but we have heard top medical “czars” say that testing may be only 50% accurate in some cases.
Medical and other workers are asked to repeat testing over and over, with some occurrence of same individual’s positives being counted as new cases. News of unconfirmed cases being counted as positives. We are told that asymptomatic cases spread disease, then experts state that there are very few asymptomatic cases.
Cheap antimalarial drugs approved for decades are banned for Covid use yet many doctors have prescribed them to Covid patients with great success. Ii is said that community spread comes from highly sanitized health clubs (where the majority of patrons are extra healthy), but not from riots where there is no social distancing..
We are told by government leaders not to wear masks,
To wear masks,
To only wear masks when you can’t social distance,
To now all being mandated to wear masks.
Hospitals getting full, yet many hospitals have recently increased scheduled surgeries and are releasing hundreds of recovered Covid patients.
So many scientific studies to review and consider.
CDC making mask recommendations citing studies that mention nothing about masks.
Public calling 911 to report non mask wearers and taking up operator’s minutes when true emergencies are happening.
Native American communities are severely affected, yet are receiving food boxes full of sugary cereals, pop tarts and processed snack foods and juices. Elevated blood sugar levels are especially prevalent in our native communities.
News reporters solemnly declare death rates in the first half of their broadcast and then later joke about how much junk food they have been eating since quarantine started. How can that be funny during what is called a pandemic, when we know for a fact that sugars and processed food damage the immune system?
I find all of this overwhelming!
We have a civil right to choose to wear a mask or not. At the moment I know of no STATUTORY LAW requiring masks. The current narrative seems to make one believe that a mask is the only way to protect ourselves from Covid. We’re not really even talking about hand washing anymore. Yet in wearing masks, let’s not get complacent and have a false sense of security. Have we ever considered that we aren’t using masks properly, that most are not disposing of or changing their mask every few hours as recommended by experts? I asked a grocery store worker how often they changed their disposable masks and he responded, every 3-4 days. What?
Dirty masks and long-term use gloves are providing a perfect bacterial breeding ground host for a virus to catch on to and thrive, and subsequently be breathed in or out.
Many studies have shown that while cloth masks will block respiratory droplets within the mask, they do not prevent the airborne spread of virus particles because of their miniscule size and the fact that cloth coverings have several openings. Even while blocking droplets, virus molecules can still pass through a cloth mask to another person. So while we may think that we covered, are we still breathing out germs? What about when someone sneezes? Where does the mask go then? Are we carrying several extra masks around with us at the stores? I would submit to you that most are not. Maybe we should be carrying extra heavy duty tissues for those cases.
What is one to do?
As a cancer patient, I simply cannot rely on my or anyone’s mask to protect me or my loved ones from a virus. So, I needed to figure out what to do for ourselves. Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, I have spent many (TOO MANY in fact) hours researching data and facts and trying to discern what is real and what is not. What are politics, money makers and narratives with an agenda and what are not. But thankfully in the time since March I’ve strengthened what I have already known about immune system building and natural antiviral/antibacterial methods and had the chance to talk with health professionals about Covid.
I’ve come up with a daily protocol to help protect myself and my family from viral and bacterial infections. It does take some work, and can be tedious but it is worth it. It includes a no processed sugar/food diet, tons of garlic and onions and herbs, specific herbal tinctures, and internal and external cleansing. As a family we make sure we are eating healthy, exercising, taking supplements and using essential oils daily. I also have an emergency plan for what to do if I or a family member were to contract Covid.
So now, why don’t we stop the debating, arguing and name calling and get to work on a time-tested solution against sickness? Which is – A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM
A strong immune system is key. There are so many methods to build your immune system, if you follow me here or on Facebook you may have seen some of the posts I have made with tips to stay healthy. These are my basic tips:
EAT HEALTHY AND SUPPLEMENT YOUR DIET, CUT OUT SUGARS AND PROCESSED FOODS
DON’T DRINK EXCESSIVELY
REMOVE TOXINS FROM YOUR LIFE.
Recently, while having an intravenous Vitamin C drip I had the opportunity to talk with an RN who has dealt with several Covid cases. I asked her what could I do to stay out of a hospital if I contracted Covid. Her response was simple and easy to do, some of the things she mentioned were:
-Drink lots of hot fluids
-Take Vitamin C several times throughout the day
-Take Zinc and Vitamin D
-Be sure to get out in the sun.
–Most importantly, she emphasized that Covid patients need tokeep moving, (which will help the circulatory system) for example walking, and to sleep sitting up.
I have a lot of other things I would do on top of that, but I wanted to share her advice with you. Check with your medical professional if you are sick as to what is the proper protocol for you.
What is your plan to stay healthy and to try to stay away from the hospitals if you contract Covid?
We need to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR HEALTH and OUR HEALING. We cannot solely count on government mandates and differing experts to keep us safe. I recommend that you research to find out which protocols may work best for you and your family.
Check with your doctor to see what supplements will be right for you. Start using the supplements now so that your body is used to them and wouldn’t be a change to your system when you are sick.
Make bone broths, and freeze them, have electrolytes like coconut water and trace minerals on hand. Always keep fresh organic garlic and onions available.
Have a plan in place that is simple to follow and prepared ahead of time. The human body is an amazing system, fortify it and let it do its job!
*** THE INFORMATION IN THIS POST IS NOT MEANT TO BE MEDICAL ADVICE. CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER FOR QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH.
Water also aides in proper elimination of toxins and wastes from the body
Protects tissues and joints
So how much water should we be drinking? Conventional theory says a person should drink 8 8oz glasses per day. However, it really does vary depending on your body weight, lifestyle, health status and of course the weather where you live. Check with your medical professional about how much water you should be drinking every day.
What are some refreshing alternatives to sugary soft drinks and other unhealthy beverages?
Why not try making a quick sparkling lemonade with sparkling water, lemon juice and stevia natural sweetener?
One of my favorite daily refreshing and hydrating drinks is this great combo of
Sparkling water, fresh citrus juice, a dash of himalayan salt, and a few drops oftrace minerals.
Another one of our favorites at home is organic hibiscus tea. The kids really love over ice in the hotter months!
How about making a Jamaican ginger/pineapple/turmeric drink and have some on hand throughout the week?
Homemade kombucha is another super healthy and refreshing daily beverage.
What are some of your favorite recipes for healthy homemade beverages that hydrate?
In an unprecedented time of self-quarantine, “social distancing”, mandatory mask wearing and talk of injections in order to stop the spread of a virus, we must consider what is the best way to avoid becoming sick and protecting others from becoming sick.
I think that the best way to avoid getting sick is to have a healthy body and a healthy, optimally functioning immune system. With this post, I am beginning a series which will outline easy tips to help you build your immune system, which is critical in these trying times. A healthy immune system can provide an inhospitable environment to pathogens attempting to enter the body, hopefully rendering dangerous viruses and bacteria “dead on arrival”!
My tip for building a healthy immune system is a simple one:
FIRST Avoid all refined sugars Sugar breaks down the immune system in a matter of hours, damages liver and kidneys, causes mood swings, raises blood sugar levels, accelerates aging and loss of collagen, feeds cancer and hormone issues and can be overall detrimental to the body. We need to avoid this as much as possible.
SECOND, avoid eating processed foods. Processed foods contain unnatural ingredients, preservatives, chemicals and toxins. The body is unable to break down these fake ingredients properly which can cause strain on the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system etc. This makes it more difficult for the immune system to properly function.
So regarding particular items, I’m talking mainly about:
White sugars, products made with high fructose corn syrup, refined white flours, most pre-packaged foods, and of course just about all commercial fast foods and most of all Soda, Diet Sodas and Sugary/Artificially Sweetened Beverages
So does that mean we should never eat sweets again or have a few chips and a tasty burger every once in a while? No not necessarily. I think it’s ok to have a treat every once in a while,
BUT SERIOUSLY, ONLY EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE,
especially in a time when we are really trying to avoid getting sick. This is such simple idea, yet for many of us, can be a difficult one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging either, because I’m one of those who really likes sweets!
So let’s figure out some easy ways to replace those bad bad sugars and processed foods with some healthier alternatives: You can start transitioning towards healthier treats made with healthy sweeteners, more fresh foods and some homemade fun foods! For sweeteners, try raw honey, real stevia (not the tru stuff), coconut sugar, whole rapadura sugar.
Veggies with hummus,
Healthy nuts and seeds
And more veggies lol!
Lots of healthy refreshing beverages and teas
And for the every once in a while sweet treat, how about:
Some dark chocolate,
Coconut flour chocolate chip cookies,
Almond flour peanut butter cookies made with coconut sugar
Sourdough discard brownies,
Organic kale chips
What have you been doing these days to replace sugar and processed foods?