"-November-2013-November-2013" Posts

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CANCER KICKING BMAN AND QUINOA

 

 

Once again at Thanksgiving we find ourselves under water holding our breath.   As we look up to the surface we can see the sunlight dancing happily and the birds flying overhead telling us relief and fresh air is just a few strokes away. Below our feet we feel a tug from a heavy anchor that wants to drag us to the bottom of the ocean floor. It reminds us only of “what happened”in the past instead of what could be in the future. Brian and I always found it, in strange way, fitting that the universe brought cancer into our lives at Thanksgiving.  Though devastating, we also saw it as a reminder that in order to survive anything in life we need to be Thankful.  Our Thanksgivings in the past were focused on friends gathering to drink, laugh and be merry.  It is still a day to celebrate but now we know the true meaning of being thankful.We remember to be grateful for even the little blessings and to always live life to the fullest.

Like everyone today, Brian and I are celebrating our blessings of continued health and happiness with amazing food! Below is one of one of our favorite Ass Kicking Cancer recipes for the holiday season. The quinoa is packed with protein and anti-oxidants and it tastes great!

YOU WILL NEED:

1 cup pf sprouted quinoa rinsed

1 cup of organic chicken broth

1 cup of dried organic cranberries

1 head of organic Kale

1/2 stalk organic celery

1/2 bulb of organic fennel

1/2 cup of Maple Syrup (We prefer grade A medium Amber.  We try to always buy from local Sugar farms in Vermont.)

1 clove garlic

1/4 balsamic vinegar

1/4 organic virgin olive oil

1 tbs dry mustard

1 tbs sea salt

 

Cook your quinoa and chicken broth on the white rice setting of your rice cooker or on you stove top in a pot.  When using a stove top reduce heat after quinoa reaches a boil. Once the quinoa is fluffy remove from heat. Chop your celery and fennel into quarter inch pieces. Then saute in a pan with garlic and one table spoon of olive oil. Once celery is tender add your chopped kale. Saute lightly, then transfer to a bowl with your quinoa. Toss in your cranberries, balsamic, remaining oil, maple syrup, salt and mustard. The dish is colorful, festive, healthy and it can be served hot or cold!

 

 

 

Dish of Sweet Potato Mash with a spoon

NOT SO SWEET POTATOS

Here is one of Brian’s favorite recipes that curbed his sugar appetite but is healthy!  This dish is low in sugar compared to the Thanksgiving alternatives out there. However, if you are closely watching your sugar intake because of a cancer or diabetes you can omit the maple syrup and use a cup of organic raisins to naturally sweeten this dish. If you are more the more adventurous type why have a play date with some dates?  During Brian’s recovery  I soaked organic dates in purified water for two hours. Then I would peel the plump meat off the pit and mash it into the yams. This is the more natural way to sweeten this dish:)

NOT SO SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients

4 Organic Yams

1/2 cup of Maple Syrup

Organic Pecans or Almonds Soaked (1/2 cup)

Organic Cinnamon (1 tbl spoon)

Shaved Raw Ginger Root (Shave off 4 peels and dice)

Organic Nutmeg (I tsp)

Organic Raw Honey (preferably from a local Bee Farmer)

 

Bake the Yams in the oven at 375 for one hour. Mash the Yams and add maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger root and nutmeg. Once the batch is fluffy, slowly stir the pecans into the mix. When dishing out, drizzle a teaspoon of organic raw honey on top of each serving. PLEASE NOTE: I no longer promote the use of Agave Syrup for this recipe. Here is the skinny on agave.

 

 

WHEN THE C WORD INVADES YOUR CLOSET PART 1: (7 PART SERIES)

BELOW IS THE FIRST ENTRY OF A 7 PART SERIES I WROTE ABOUT MY HUSBAND AND I’S JOURNEY WITH CANCER.  THIS IS THE STORY OF OUR QUEST TO SPIRITUAL WELLNESS.

 

There are so many C words that make your heart flutter like…couture, cashmere, or better yet closet!  I have to admit that I am a big fan of most C words…especially coffee and cash!

But somehow in my 30′s, I had completely forgotten there were other C words-words that make your heart feel like it has stopped.  Words like carcinoma, cancer or chemo.

In my 20′s I had experienced those words first hand with family and friends and while you never forget the “who” in those lost, over time I had slowly forgotten…the “how”.

So at 6:30am on November 4th the only “C” word on my mind was coffee…creme brulee coffee to be exact.

Brian was making me drive to his doctors appointment.  I don’t drive.  So If he didn’t let me make a pit stop…this could be grounds for divorce.  We made our way through traffic in Beverly Hills.  My eyes were definitely on the clock, not the road.  As we approached our destination I saw an oasis in the distance-the most beautiful Coffee Bean EVER!

We had 4 minutes till his colonoscopy appointment. We were practically early!

Coffee-bean-optimized

He looked at me and said “Kara, forget about it.  I don’t want to be late.”

I retorted, “You’re just getting checked for celiacs stop being so dramatic.”

He laughed and said, “Me dramatic?  Ok drop me off.  I will fill out the paperwork out and you run and get your coffee.  You are an addict Lady!”

And with those words I frolicked to the Coffee Bean clueless that in hour our lives were about to be changed forever…by the “C” word I had forgotten.

The rest of the day is pretty much a blur for both Brian and I.  Brian was coming off a twilight anesthesia.  I was obsessing over the thought, “Why was that damn coffee so important to me?” As if I had NOT stopped somehow things would have been different.

I remember the gastroenterologist was wearing a red tie.  It clashed with his shirt.  I also remember he would not look me in the eye.

I remember a women in her 60′s in the CT scan waiting room.  She had a purple bandanna on her head.  It was silk.  She told me, “You get through it.  Don’t worry, you do.”  I wanted to say to her, “Sorry you must be mistaken. You see were in our early 30′s we don’t belong here.”  But instead I said, “Thank you that is a beautiful scarf.”

The doctor who finally told us Brian had cancer was wearing a blue shirt.  It matched his blue eyes.  He was the best dressed I had seen all day.

The tumor was the size of an orange.  The scan indicated 3 lymph’s were most likely infected putting us somewhere around an early stage 3.  He had no major symptoms or signs.

I thought about how two days before we had just returned from a football game at my alma mater.  He had looked so cute in that black and gold shirt.

In my mind I screamed, “Why is this happening?”

Iowablog
The doctor continued to talk.  His vital organs were clear.  We should be thankful.  He said,”A tumor that big, the news is usually a lot worse, even fatal.”

Somehow, we didn’t feel very lucky.

I was wearing my gray cashmere sweater with a hood.  I pulled the hood over my head as too not let Brian see me cry.

The days that followed were to be the biggest tests of our life.  We changed the way we thought, we changed the way we ate and we changed the way we dressed.  We eventually started to un-closet our own Karma.

Brian has asked that I share our whole journey with our readers. So I will continue our story in future blogs. His hope is that you will find inspiration in whatever obstacle you come across in the new year and take it on with an open heart and mind.

And to be honest, that is just the type of amazing man I am married to.

Brian and Tess joke around just 80 hours after surgery.  Brian’s doctors said his release was a record, but I will tell you more about that later.  I just dig the xmas pants and the robe.

Turkeyday
Life has a funny way of redirecting our path to get us back on track.  I hope you check back daily to see where the road took us.

Love and Light,

And remember the light inside of all of us burns bright even on the darkest of nights. You just have to remember to open the closet doors and let it out:)

KK

WHEN THE C WORD INVADES YOUR CLOSET. PART 2: ANXIETY,ANGER AND ANSWERS

 

After the news, I told Brian I had to go to the bathroom.  I walked out of the door and found myself frozen in the hallway.

The walls started to feel like they were shrinking in on me.

I wanted to run but I felt like Alice, stuck with no where to go.

Alice

I kept thinking, “This cannot be real!!!?????”

I tried to recap the morning. At the gastroenterologist I had been blind sided.  After, we were rushed so quickly to the CT scan there was no time… no time to research. No time to ask the right questions.  And no way to turn back time.

On the way to the scan I had texted my aunt and my best friend because they’re both nurses. I wanted to at least know what questions to ask a scanning technician.  They did their best to quickly debrief me but without a diagnosis… there isn’t much to ask.

When I looked down at my Blackberry there was a message from my aunt.

“What did they say? What do they think it is?”

I was shaking as I texted the words, “Please, not my husband.”

A woman walking out of the plastic surgeon’s office next door slammed into me, knocking the phone out of my hand.  She was wearing a bright pink pashmina.  She did not apologize.

In my head I screamed, “My husband has cancer you BITCH and P.S., it’s too hot for a pashmina!”

Then I thought, “Who are you right now?  Stop it!  What if your anger makes him sicker?  What if God is punishing you for all the things you have ever done wrong?”

I tried to fight it because I don’t consider myself an angry person, but I felt this uncontrollable anger rise inside of me.  I was now furious at everyone and everything.

I felt a tap on my shoulder.  It was the nice dressed doctor who had told us Brian had cancer. He hugged me. Suddenly, I found myself sobbing in the arms of a man I despised just 45 minutes ago.

“I should have made him get tested two weeks ago!  It’s my fault.  I am a bad wife!”

The doctor raised my head, “Two weeks would not have made a difference.  This is a slow moving cancer.  You are lucky you made him go at all.  Get it out.  Get it all out today.”

Snot nosed, I looked into his eyes and said, “I know cancer.  I know how this ends and I can’t.”

He replied. “Yes you can.  You are strong.  I have a really good feeling about your husband.  Fight.  You can beat this, but you have to fight for him.”  Then he walked away.

I raised the hood on my cashmere sweater once again.  Brian greeted me in the hallway.

As we exited the building he said, “I think I should drive. You are upset.”

Defeated, I handed him the keys.  I felt hollow.

Then he looked at me and grabbed my hand, “I am going to beat this thing…I am not going to leave you. I am going to be OK.  Don’t worry my story will end differently.”

Suddenly, something snapped inside of me.  “He was consoling me.  He was worried about me????”

The same voice that was angry just moments before was now whispering, “This CANNOT HAPPEN.  He can not console you.”

And at that moment I knew I was going to fight like I had never fought before.

Tens years of fighting and clawing my way up the ladder in the entertainment industry had nothing to do with job success.  God was preparing me for LIFE SUCCESS.

Every moment that had made me stronger was in preparation for November 4th, 2010.

This was about to be Brian’s and I’s biggest production yet and I was going to direct and produce the shit out of it.

And I wasn’t giving up until we took home the title of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor!  It was time we un-closeted all that good Karma that was waiting to be released.

 HERE IS A SNEAK PEAK AT HOW OUR FUTURE CHANGE- AND WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF YOUR FOOD!

Groceries

HERE ARE SOME THINGS BRIAN WOULD LIKE ALL OF OUR READERS TO KNOW THIS WEEK:

1.) Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.

2.) Although there has been a significant rise in the number of young people diagnosed with this cancer in the last 5 years, the recommended screening age for colon cancer is 50. Brian is 35.

3.) Colorectal Cancer is a slow moving cancer and if caught very early has a 90% recovery rate.

4.) You can have colon cancer and feel great.  Symptoms are non-specific like stomach discomfort, rectal bleeding, or slight blood in and around your stool.  Sometimes symptoms can take years to present themselves.  When it was diagnosed, Brian’s tumor was the size of an orange!

5.) Over 9% of MEN AND WOMEN will be effected by colorectal cancer. This cancer is an equal opportunity cancer.

Love and Light,

Remember everything is a blessing in disguise this holiday season,

KK and BL

PS: Next week we will share some of the amazing and tasty disease-fighting recipes I learned about in my quest to get Brian (and what turned out to be myself in the long run) healthy.  We hope this will bring love and health to your table and your families this holiday seasons :)