Nourishing Bytes

I've ALWAYS enjoyed food.  But, it wasn't until I began approaching my late 20's that I really began appreciating it.  We ate some great food growing up.  My mom, who is a fabulous cook, cooked almost every single meal for our family.  We very rarely ate out and each meal prepared at home included a variety of foods from each of the food groups.   I still have some favorite meals from childhood that are in our regular rotation of meals that I cook for my family.

Because we didn't eat out that much as a family, I wasn't exposed to other cultures' dishes until I began approaching my 20's.  Until then, when I ate out, it was typically at a chain restaurant.  As I approached my 20's I began to realize I had more means (money) to venture out and try new restaurants.  I tried Indian food, Thai food, Vietnamese food, new Italian dishes and other cultural dishes.  As I opened up my palate, the Food Network became one of my new favorite television networks.  Then, I discovered is a site that offers significantly discounted gift certificates to some of the best restaurants in town.  Equipped with these valuable yet cheap gift certificates, I was able to try some of the restaurants I always wanted to try (but didn't want to spend the money, not knowing whether it was worth it).   This was one of my and Drew's favorite pastimes when we were dating and even after we were married (before kids were born).   We tried some great restaurants and soon had a little list of our favorite places.  Some of our dates even involved trying to replicate dishes from our favorite restaurants in our own kitchen.  We evolved into self-proclaimed foodies.

Enjoying a dark chocolate dessert in Switzerland on our honeymoon.
Our philosophy on food has always been to use fresh ingredients, and try to keep it healthful yet tasty.  I always felt like we ate pretty healthfully.  Then, when cancer reared it's ugly head, I tried to figure out what possibly could have caused it.  I felt like I was pretty active, really had none of the risk factors, and was a really healthy person--or so I thought.  Although I am so young, I don't even have the genetic mutation known to cause breast cancer.  I think the greatest pitfall of my diet was that I didn't consume enough vegetables and it was heavy in refined sugars (I love me some dessert and cereal!) When Luke was born, his pediatrician prescribed a bowl of ice cream per day for me to consume.  He said since I was breastfeeding and I was "a little thing", I needed to ensure I consumed plenty of calories.  Well, I took this prescription for a bit longer than the 13 months I breastfed Luke.  In fact, I didn't stop eating my bowl of ice cream per day until I received my cancer diagnosis (Luke is now 3 years old).

When I received my cancer diagnosis, I knew things needed to change.  I wanted to fight this thing with every tool possible.  This meant I had some research to do to figure out how to use food as a tool in the battle as well.  It has taken me nearly four months, but I figured out what will be my new philosophy on food for life.  As many books, articles, case studies and blogs as I have read, I felt like I have prepared to write a thesis.  It feels like I am back in graduate school.   But, I feel what I learned the past few months is way more important than anything I have researched in the past (besides my faith).  So, because I feel that what I have learned is so important and interesting, I would like to share what I have learned here and there in regular posts on this blog.  I have titled the posts, "Nourishing Bytes".  I now still enjoy food as a foodie.  But, I also am so much more aware of what is going into my body, and how it can possibly help or harm it.   Also, I have really learned to enjoy and appreciate healthful foods. 

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

As I publish the "Nourishing Bytes" posts, I will link them here so they are cataloged in one location for easy viewing.  Here you go--enjoy!

Green Tea
Power Greens: Spinach and Arugula
Cruciferous Vegetables
Enjoying our Cruciferous Veggies 
10 Days of Real Food!
Grass-Fed Beef, Black Beans and More
Yummy Veggie and Whole Grain Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Rice and Apples

And here are some great books to read if you are interested in changing your diet, becoming healthier and either preventing or beating cancer!


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