"-November-2013-November-2013-November-2013" Posts


Outside the Santa Monica Scan Center the world seemed normal.  It was 3pm and a typical November day in LA’s west side.

Bad traffic.  Unbearable heat.  Brian and I chatting about work.

He wanted me to keep my meeting scheduled that evening.  I wanted to cancel.

“I am really excited for you… you need to start doing your own stuff.  This is your chance to get what you deserve from them,” he said.

The harder I tried to listen to him the more I felt like Charlie Brown.  I couldn’t make out a word he was saying.

My eyes wandered…

How come I never noticed before his upper lip twitched when he got excited?…


Maybe after 10 years of being together I had just forgotten



I forced myself to look him in the eye.  I wanted to give him validation I was listening…but I wasn’t.  I actually had several full- blown conversations going on with myself as I stared at him…

–“I need to get a second and third opinion”

–“Who do I know who has had stage 3 Cancer in their 30’s?”

–“Do any of my friends have relatives who are oncologists? Someone I know has to work for Dr. OZ or Dr. Phil or something!”

–“I am sure that bar crawl in Iowa City didn’t help.  Why did I let him eat that burrito and cheese fries? Come to think of it why did I eat that burrito?”

–“Wait – we are supposed to try and have a baby this year.  What if now…??”

–“FUCK! Why I am I so focused on my career?”

–“Speaking of jobs..I really don’t like my job.  He is right.  Why aren’t I working for myself?”

–“Wait!  He loves his job finally…Oh no!  What about HIS new job?”

–“Will he lose his hair? I love his hair.”

–“Maybe I can find a healer or a shaman who can save his hair?  Kara, that is obnoxious.”

–“Wait what about John of God!  We saw him on Dateline!  He cures people.”

–“We love watching Dateline on Friday nights…What will our Friday nights be like now???…”

–“Does Amazon sell books on kicking cancer’s ass?”

–“Crap!  Why didn’t I get my damn crack-berry fixed….I NEED TO SEARCH THE INTERNET!!!”

Finally, we were home. I burst through our front door, hopped on the internet and joined every colon cancer blog I could find.  The subject of every post was “HELP US!!!!!”

An hour into googling my brains out Brian said, “Love you, don’t be late for your meeting.”  He was walking out the front door.

“Wait what are you doing???” I protested,  “You have cancer!”

He looked at me and said, “Nothing has changed since yesterday except the fact we KNOW I have cancer.  You need to go to that meeting now more than ever.  I need to go to work and keep busy as long as I can.”

I forced a smile and said, “Ok you’re right, love you.”

The door shut.  Georgia, our puppy, watched Brian pull out of the driveway.  His car cleared the block, I sobbed and compulsively hit refresh on my screen.  Would anyone write me back????

I received 10 responses in the first 2 hours.  Women whose husbands had colon cancer.  Children who had lost their mothers to colon cancer.  Men emailing me what to except the next few weeks for Brian.  The stories were harrowing and horrifying all at the same time.

I sobbed some more and thought there has to be another way.

Finally I posted, “Has anyone tried to heal or improve their cancer through diet?”

Immediately I received emails about a low-residue diet.  The Diet basically consists of white rice, white bread, potato, ect…

The theory is these foods will pass through the digestive track easier helping the colon to heal after surgery.

As I read I thought, “I am no dietician but white bread blows me up bigger than a buluga whale float in the Rose Bowl Parade…this diet is anyone’s worst nightmare, let alone a cancer patient!”

I scrolled down…most patients commented on how after surgery they did not have regular bowel movements for weeks.  They were constipated and in pain.  “This can’t be right?” I thought.

I slammed my computer shut and screamed!  “What the hell am I supposed to do???”

As I slowly made my way to the shower my eyes caught a glimpse of my dusty bookshelf.

In my 20’s I had many lives and my book shelf was a reflection. The first shelf was cluttered with self help books like ‘Exorcising your Ex.’  The second was books like ‘Shamanism for Dummies’.  The third ‘Learn French Easy.’  But the 4th turned out to be the best life I ever lived.  My Raw-Vegan food phase.

I furiously flipped through the pages scanning for anything that said cancer.  And there it was, a dear old friend I had completely forgotten.  Wheat Grass!  The super of super foods.

In my early 20’s to nurse a hangover I would drag my girlfriend Carolyn to the juicing bar and we would gag down shots of wheat grass.  I vividly remember the gagging but I had completely forgotten how it miraculously cured our hangovers.

At 25, juicing was a way of life for Brian and I.  And we looked hot!  Bk italy


I thought, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” We’ll look hot?

So I knew where to start.  But where to go… I had no idea.  So I showered, changed and did my best to look presentable for my “big pitch.”

As I headed to my meeting I got an email my bosses needed to move our meeting to our company wrap party because their schedule ran late.

Blood shot eyes and I am headed to a bar? Brilliant.

My work colleagues at the bar assumed I had been “pre-partying”.


“Act normal”, I told myself “Or drunk.  Drunk could work… you’re at a bar.”

My stomach twisted and turned.  But I smiled, nodded and clinked cheers.

Then, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Everyone seemed normal.  They were talking about their babies and their lives and their plans.  I ran outside for fresh air.

Hearing about my friends “normal” lives forced me to face the fact Brian and I were about to experience “a new normal.”   Why can’t we just be normal?

Just when I was about to give up and drown myself in a tequila shot…my blackberry buzzed.

The email said, “Please check out www.chrisbeatcancer.com.  My cancer is too far-gone I think but I have a feeling your husband has a similar story to this guy.  May God Bless You.”  The message came from one of the blogs I had posted on.

This was the first encounter of many my husband and I would have with angels…

Chris of “Chris Beat Cancer” was about to become one of our biggest champions.  In fact, God was about to connect and reconnect us with some of the most amazing people in the world.  He was about to disconnect us with some people as well…

I knew our lives had been changed forever, but I had no idea Cancer was about to be the best thing that ever happened to Brian and I in 2010.

Brian and I hope that all of your struggles in 2010 turn into blessings in 2011. Just this Christmas Brian was finally allowed to eat something sweet. (I will explain why in future blogs). Here is one of Brian’s favorite recipes that curbed his sugar appetite but was healthy! He would like me to share it with you for comfort food during football this weekend! And be sure to check back next week to see our EXTREME KITCHEN MAKE OVER!




4 Organic Yams

Raw Agave Nectar 3/4 – a cup (depending on how sweet you like it)

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 agave, 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.





So there is nothing simple about cancer. Just as there is nothing simple about any
unplanned bump in the road of life.   When Brian was originally
diagnosed 5 years ago, the initial prognosis was not good.

They believed his cancer was already at a Stage 3b.  I know some of our
doctors would have preferred for us to accept this… and wait.   I am too impatient for that. There was now three
of us in this marriage.  It was up to me to figure out how we were
going to evict our new roommate… “cancer.”

At first I complicated things. I was going out of my mind trying to control what was happening. I wanted an overnight cure that would erase this dark cloud looming in our living room.  Then I heard a voice whisper, “Take a step back. Take a deep breath. Just start simple.”

So, I started with food. It seemed like a logical solution. Everyone needs food. Food was the one thing I could control. Plus, if cancer feeds
off sugar… then surely something must combat it???  However, I had no idea what I could or should feed him!

Once I started my research, I had a panic attack. I was overwhelmed by a world riddled with
carcinogens, casein, GMO’s, pesticides and arsenic!!! AND THE DEVIL MONSANTO SEEDS IS GOING TO KILL US ALL!!!!



I literally stayed up for 48 hours sobbing uncontrollably. There was no
way I could save my husband!!  There was nowhere to go! Nowhere to




It was about day 3 of no sleep that that little voice inside started chatting again, this time louder, “KK,
get a hold of yourself!!!! Stop being so dramatic. Just keep it




So I had glass of wine and took a nap. When I woke up, I began cooking simple lifesaving foods. I am not a devout vegan or nutritionist. I am not a doctor. I am just a wife who did not want to lose her husband. It was that love changed our lives forever.  Cancer has taught us not to complicate our lives. You need to embrace and attack each day head on and look for the opportunity for a lesson. My lesson was about living foods.




I now believe in balance. I promote that 70% of your diet should be plant
based and organic. BUT it should also taste good. I promise this blog will never fool you- when it comes to taste.

I don’t like things that say they are, “Raw Mac N Cheeze” and then you taste it
and it is more like nutty gooey stuff. I believe if you keep it simple,
you can go out and have a cheeseburger…once and awhile.

Since it is a holiday week I will start with a cruciferous vegetable! Brussels
are my favorite cancer fighting food!  Two major reasons you should eat
them; Sulforaphane and Vitamin C.  I do them a hundred different ways
but my  “Mexican Explosion” Brussels are a favorite among my spicy


1 bag of organic brussels. 1/2 cup Dijon. 1 garlic clove. 3 tbs of
jalapeno juice. 1 tbs olive oil. 1 tbs dry organic mustard. 1 tsp Celtic sea salt. 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 cup of Soy-Free Veganaise

 The thing about brussels is you do not want to undercook or overcook
them. In order to maintain their healing qualities it is best to cook
them until you see their color change to a slightly brighter green.  For
this recipe I chop the ends and halve the brussels. Then I lightly steam
them in an organic broth until I see them change color.  I strain
them and put them to the side. Then I add my Dijon,crushed
garlic,jalapeno juice, olive oil, dry mustard,cayenne, salt and Soy-free

NOTE*** If you cannot handle spicy foods for medical
or any other reasons my alternative is to replace the jalapeno juice
and cayenne with 1 tablespoon of Raw Organic Blackstrap Molasses.  (Click on the link to see why Blackstrap Molasses is a great alternative.)

Once your spicy or sweet aioli is mixed, put your brussels back on the stove
on a medium heat and fully coat them with the mixture. Once you can see
they have started to soften in the middle, remove and serve.

If you are interested in more information on cancer fighting or healing foods, here is one of my favorite sites!

http://www.healwithfood.org/cancer/foods.php !

And remember, this weekend try and keep it simple! xoxox KK






It was 7:30 a.m. and the sun was peeking through our bedroom blinds.  For a second I thought, “It was all a bad dream”, but as I rubbed my eyes into focus, reality was the first thing I saw…Brian’s CT scan on the dresser.

My heart sank, it wasn’t a nightmare.  I felt a hand on my shoulder.  “Good morning, sweetie.”  Brian had just woke up.  I took a deep breath, smiled and turned in reply, “Good morning.”

He shuffled into the shower.  I ran into the kitchen. I had stayed up all night researching.  I had no control over cancer.  It had invaded my husband’s body without my permission, but my kitchen…my kitchen I could control.

Georgia and I stood in the middle of the floor.  To the average American we “seemed” extremely healthy. Our meats of choice were ground turkey or chicken breast.  The majority of our sauces or canned foods were organic.  If we used sugar it was always raw sugar cane.  Our cleaning products were mostly “green” or at least biodegradable.  What we didn’t know was there were things lurking in our food and products…just like cancer without our permission.

I dumped everything in our cabinets on the floor.  Vitamins, protein mixes, canned tomatoes sauce…


I had always been a label reader because I have allergies, but I was ignorant to the problem of genetically engineered foods or GMO.  So when I found words like soy, citric acid, lecithin, natural flavorings, organic flavorings…I tossed it out unless the label said GMO free.

As I pulled out the pasta shelf I held my breath, “Please, please, please be ok.  We spend so much money on organic tomatoe sauce.”  I turned the can around and there it was…Citric Acid.  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!  I screamed, “Crap! Not my tomato sauce!”

Completely in denial, I picked up the phone and called the company to see what their citric acid was derived from, and sure enough, an organic product I had paid extra money for was made from GMO corn.

Why didn’t it say something on the label?  Like WARNING GMO.  But it wasn’t just GMO soy and corn products I was finding…our organic seasonings had fillers in them too. Our vitamins had chemicals.  Brian’s organic protein shake?  Well, that was just a HOT MESS!

It turns out in the last few years the laws have changed for organic products.  Unless it says 100% organic it may not be 100% organic and pure.  This dupes all of us but still guarantees we will empty our pocket books for so-called organic products.  The result?  I had spent on average $150.00 a week on our groceries and we were poisoning ourselves.

I turned to Georgia and asked, “What the hell are we going to eat??????”

Georgia, by the way, was no help.


Feeling overwhelmed, I decided to leave a pile of possibly suitable products on the floor.

I closed my eyes and opened the fridge.  I peaked through one eye at the organic dressings…and then reluctantly I threw away 6 bottles.

All I kept hearing was the ding of a cashier register over and over again as I dumped $100’s of dollars in the garbage.

Time for the meat and dairy shelf.  Goodbye ground turkey.  Goodbye parmesan cheese.  Goodbye honey mustard.

I dragged two hefty sized trashed bags to the curb and headed to the store, literally, in my pj’s.  In fact, I would spend the next 5 days in my jammies revamping our lives.  (the closet karma for cancer was a week long PJ’s session)

Whole Foods used to be my version of a zen garden.  I loved to stroll the colorful aisles looking at all the pretty produce.  Sometimes after a bad day at work I would just go there and sit.  Somehow I felt healthier just standing next to their eggplants.  But today, with my dirty hair and bags under my eyes, I was not “oming” on my drive.  I was cursing like a sailor.  The same store that had just double crossed me was my only choice for healthy food…at least for now 😉

I stormed through the doors that I once just strolled through.

I spent two hours sifting through the aisles.  Suddenly my shopping list felt like the ‘In and Out’ section of Star Magazine…Rice Milk soooo…out, but Almond Milk soooo…in.  Lisanatti Almond Cheese?  4 stars!  It was 100% free of everything.  Just plain raw almonds at Whole Foods…soooo last month…they did not carry non-irradiated ones.

(I would later learn you can soak non-irradiated raw almonds to try and remove harmful chemicals they MAY have been exposed too.)

In the end, I had a cart full of cancer fighting foods for Brian.


The bummer was the bill…$118.00 and I had just begun to get him what he needed. The sailor in me came out once again. “F#$@!”

Pomi Tomato Sauce was my favorite find.  Its JUST TOMATOES.  I try and make my own marinara but when I am in a pinch this is a great alternative.


I pulled into my driveway and contemplated how to unload my merchandise. The weeks to follow were not going to be easy.  The majority of our days would be consumed by doctors appointments and hospital visits.  My time in the kitchen would be minimal.  I needed to be organized and efficient.

The top shelf was the most important.  Juice, amino acids, wheat grass, probiotics…I created rows for each day of the week.  This way Brian knew what to do if I was not around.  It would also allow me to keep tabs on what he was NOT drinking that he was supposed to. 😉

Second shelf raw foods. Third shelf juiceable items.

I needed to know when we were low on produce, especially carrots.  (My goal was to turn him orange from carrots if possible, just like chrisbeatcancer had done.) 



The little pull out drawer would be off limits labelled with a “Brian don’t touch” sign taped to it.  This mostly consisted of items that I just couldn’t throw away without tremendous guilt…expensive and delectable cheeses and savory sliced meats.

By 7 o’clock I had conquered our kitchen.  I only had the whole house left to deal with…


Brian and I know how overwhelming this information can be so here is the checklist I started with to eliminate GMO foods from our life.  You can only do what you can and you can’t do it all. We now work with a local farm that delivers our vegetables weekly.  I also grow our own wheat grass and sprout many of our seeds. (It is cost effecient and easy but I will tell you more about that in later blogs.)  We also are big fans of talking to your local farmers’ market.  It is a great place to ask questions and find answers.  Also, sadly, when choosing a farm BEWARE and don’t be duped.  Think about how long your produce lasts in your home?  If you are ordering from a farm that is trucking your fruits and veggies cross-country the odds of them being 100% GMO free and organic are rare.

    • Soybeans – Gene taken from bacteria (Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4) is inserted into soybeans to make them more resistant to herbicides.
    • Corn – There are two main varieties of GE corn.  One has a Gene from the lepidoptera pathogen microorganism Bacillus thuringiensis inserted to produce the Bt toxin, which poisons insect pests .There are also several events which are resistant to various herbicide.
    • Rapeseed/Canola – Gene added/transferred to make crop more resistant to herbicide.
    • Sugar beets – Gene added/transferred to make crop more resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
    • Cotton – engineered to produce Bt toxin.  The seeds are pressed into cottonseed oil, which is a common ingredient in vegetable oil and margarine.
    • Dairy – Cows injected with GE hormone rBGH/rBST; possibly fed GM grains and hay.
    • Aspartame/AminoSweet – Addictive and dangerous artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gum and “diet” beverages.  A building block of aspartame, the amino acid phenylalanine, is usually manufactured with the aid of genetically modified E. coli bacteria.  This process has been used industrially in the USA for many years.
    • Papayas – yup the fruit
    • Farm Raised Salmon
  1. MAKE SURE THE LABEL SAYS 100% organic                                                                               The US and Canadian governments do not allow manufacturers to label something 100% organic if that food has been genetically modified or been fed genetically modified feed. However, you may find that organic food is more expensive and different in appearance from conventional products. Also, just because something says “organic” on it does not mean that it does not contain GMs. In fact, it can still contain up to 30% GMs, so be sure the labels say 100% organic.
    • This applies to eggs, as well. Eggs labeled “free-range”, “natural”, or “cage-free” are not necessarily GE-free; look for eggs to be 100% organic.
    • If it is a 4-digit number, the food is conventionally produced.
    • If it is a 5-digit number beginning with an 8, it is GM.  However, do not trust that GE foods will have a PLU identifying it as such, because PLU labeling is optional.
    • If it is a 5-digit number beginning with a 9, it is
    • PURCHASE BEEF 100% GRASS FED.  Most cattle in the U.S. spend the last portion of their lives in feedlots where they may be given GM corn, the purpose of which is to increase intramuscular fat and marbling.  If you’re looking to stay away from GMOs, make sure the cattle were 100% grass-fed or pasture-fed (sometimes referred to as grass-finished or pasture-finished).  The same applies to meat from other herbivores such as sheep. With non-ruminants like pigs and poultry that cannot be 100% grass-fed, it’s better to look for meat that is 100% organic.
    • SHOP LOCALLY Although more than half of all GM foods are produced in the US, most of it comes from large, industrial farms.  By shopping at farmers’ markets, signing up for a subscription from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, or patronizing a local co-op, you may be able to avoid GM products and possibly save money at the same time.
      NOTE: More and more small farms are offering grains and meat directly to customers
      I will list a few companies in the future.
    • Buy whole foods.  Favor foods that you can cook and prepare yourself, rather than foods that are processed or prepared (e.g. anything that comes in a box or a bag, including fast food). What you lose in convenience, you may recover in money saved and satisfaction gained, as well as increased peace of mind.  Try cooking a meal from scratch once or twice a week.  You may enjoy it and decide to do it more often.



It was a Saturday morning and usually whoever woke up first, (AKA Brian), would jump up and down on the bed yelling, “Get up!  Get up!  The game is almost on!”

The best part about living on the West Coast?  No matter what time you wake up- there’s always a college football game about to start.

However, this Saturday I woke up first and there was silence.

Finally, Brian rolled over and said, “I guess you should cancel our brunch plans for tomorrow.”

Then he rolled back over in the bed.

My heart sank.  I knew Brian had been excited for weeks to see his friend and their family.

I held my breath — for the first time, in a long time, I didn’t know what to say.

It had been days since we received the news and Brian had not told anyone.  There was a very selfish part of me that felt burdened by this.  I wanted to run down the street screaming, “HEY!  GUESS WHAT?!  LIFE SUCKS!  I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS!”

Brian and I are very different people.  I am the “event planner”.  I hold weekly girl gabbing sessions in my backyard.  I have friends I work with.  I have friends I work out with.  Friends I talk about God with. Friends I like to shop with.  If you move away?  No worries!  That’s what phones are for.  In fact, one of my BFs is my neighbor- which was no accident.  I helped her find the house.  The 45 minute commute and phone bill were getting to be too much for the both of us.

I also make her Irish on St. Patty’s day

However, Brian is NOT a planner.  He’d rather attend the party, not run it.  I have one friend I have known since I was 12, Brian has several.  His friendships run deep and long.  While on the surface he seems quiet and reserved, he’s not.  He is funny and VERY chatty.  He is just selective with his thoughts and sharing them.  He may not see his friends everyday but he loves them.

I knew he was holding back because he did not want to burden anyone.  But it wasn’t my place to tell him what to do.  (This was a moment of ENLIGHTENMENT- since it was probably the first time in our marriage I felt that way.)

I broke the silence, “Of course I can cancel.  You want me to make up something?  I’ll say whatever you want.”

He looked up at me, “We should probably tell them, right? Is that OK?  Do you think it is OK to tell them and could you do it?”

I gazed into his eyes, I knew he felt helpless too.

“Brian, I think if you want to tell your friends, it is not only OK but they will be there to help you and cheer you on.  There is no right or wrong.”

“Ok…call them,” he said.

My hand was trembling as I dialed the number.  I kept thinking, “Please don’t cry”.  They weren’t home so I left a message to call me.

Twenty minutes later, our phone rang.  Brian watched as I answered…

Suddenly, a wave of calmness overcame me.  I was hopeful, but direct.  I could hear tears welling up in his friend’s eyes as he asked questions, but Brian was still watching me…so I presented the facts and explained that we’re going to “kick the shit out of cancer”.

As I hung up the phone, Brian smiled.  Then he told me who else he would like me to call.

By 7pm, Brian had friends by his side.  In fact, he was never alone again.  He had a friend who would bring him video games.  A friend who would watch football with him.  A friend who would invite him to church.  A friend who would watch movies with him.  And a friend who would bitch with him.

As I watched him laughing over video games and the wheat grass growing in our kitchen, I learned something new about my husband and his friends.  Their relationships weren’t much different than mine.

And yes, the wheat grass is growing in our kitchen.   Wheatgrass1

I also learned something new about my husband.  It wasn’t that he “didn’t” want to tell anyone, he just did not know how.  So I decided I would not just be his patient advocate, but I would be his voice when he didn’t have the strength to speak.  In the end, he was the one who needed to do the ass-kicking — and he needed to save his energy.”

As we went to bed that night, he commented how there were so many more people to tell and he was tired.  Finally he joked, “Is there a Facebook status button that says, I have cancer?”

“No”, I laughed, “But if you need me to make one, I will.”