Being diagnosed with cancer was a life changing experience for me, as it is for anyone. One of the most significant shifts has been in the way I look at my body and what I put in it. When I was undergoing radiation, I began working with Nutritionist Rachel Bellar in order to eat foods that would help boost my immune system.
We truly are what we eat and what we put in our bodies matters to our long-term health. Rachel taught me this and I am so grateful to have worked with her. Her in-depth knowledge of how certain foods and spices are vital to promoting wellness throughout the body has become an integral part of my lifestyle after surviving cancer.
Even more importantly, having cancer made me re-think and re-define family - resulting in my greatest joy, my son Wyatt. As parents often joke, kids don't come with instruction manuals. Parenting is a constant challenge of self-education. One thing I do know, though, is that Wyatt is benefiting from what I learned from Rachel. And, I feel like I am giving my son one of the greatest gifts a mother can - the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
Here are some of our favorite foods that pack enormous nutritional value (including anti-cancer benefits), and the ways we make them fun and tasty for both of us. Truly, toddler tested, mother approved.
What to look for: whole, natural walnuts without additives or preservatives
How to make it: add walnuts and bananas to oatmeal, crush and toss into pastas and salads, mince and add to muffins and pancakes
However you decide to fix your food, eat a healthy, diverse diet. And remember, real foods, not supplements, are best for your body. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that at least 2/3 of your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans. Start your children young and let them reap the rewards of healthy eating habits for a lifetime.