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Spring Clean Eating with Lilly Padilla

Lilly Padilla is the author of Anti-cancer Habits & Anti-inflammatory Nutrition. She is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach, Holistic Nutrition Chef, and 13-year cancer survivor.  Lilly’s Anti-cancer book is on sale right now at https://www.createspace.com/5553140.

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FFLB: What are your favorite spring foods?

LP: Because of the natural Renewal energy in spring, Sprouts (baby foods full of energy) are probably my favorite foods to add to my recipes in Springtime. Sprouts, especially broccoli sprouts, which are known for their anti-cancer properties, along with daikon radish sprouts both make easy adds to salads, soups, beans and whole grain dishes. They provide high amounts of vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients. Just what we need in spring!

FFLB: How have you seen a clean, fresh diet positively affect a cancer journey?

LP: Over more than 9 years of working with cancer survivors, and in my own experience as a 13-year cancer survivor, I have noticed that overall, survivors who have changed their eating habits and consistently consumed a clean diet have a better outcome than those who occasionally eat conventional vegetables but don’t really change their diet of  processed foods.

There is a harmonious wellness between nature and the human body. Most people do create and release the same type of energy that they ingest through food. For example, eating leafy greens consistently makes people become more flexible and feel lighter, fresher and more energetic. And the opposite is true: When eating heavy fats, like animal fats, people often feel heavy, slow and dull. The nature of the food will be reflected in the type of energy release. For thousands of years Chinese Nutritional Therapy has worked with the concept that we are ONE with nature and that what we eat impacts our human nature, health, mood and energy. I have seen amazing results when survivors prioritize consistent healthy lifestyle routines that include a clean healthy diet, exercise, mindful meditations, healthy cooking and a set menu that works for their unique nutritional needs.

For more info on the subject, feel free to send Lilly a note or questions at lpadillacreate@gmail.com

Lilly’s Springtime recipe:

Lilly’s Detoxifying Spring Salad

 Beets, carrots and apples have all been traditionally used for liver detoxification.

1 large beet, coarsely grated (good source iron- supports liver function)

1 organic green apple cut tiny pieces (antioxidant protection)

1 large carrot coarsely grated

5 tbs. fresh dill

1/2 c. parsley leaves chopped

1 c. dandelion greens (excellent liver cleansing)

2 c. seasonal mix green salad

1/2  c. broccoli sprouts (anti-cancer protection)

1/2 cup watercress (support lungs detoxification)

DRESSING

¼ c. flaxseed oil or toasted sesame oil

1 lemon juice – add more to taste

3-4 tbs. apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

1 clove garlic minced tiny

hand full sprouted almonds chopped

Himalayan salt to taste

In a medium salad bowl mix grated beets and carrots, then add apples, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and garlic. Then, stir in your green salad mix, watercress, sprouts, parsley, dill and dandelion greens. Lastly, add oil and almonds. Mix all ingredients well and add more lemon to your desired taste.  It makes a delicious, nutritious cleansing salad, and your liver will love it!

 Chew truly and enjoy the flavors!

Cancer-Fighting Salad Ingredients

If you’re looking to give your spring salads an extra-healthy boost, we have the ingredient list for you! Sometimes it can be tough to quickly cook up a stellar and well-balanced meal, especially during lunch time. We often find ourselves in the frozen food aisle or microwaving poorly portioned leftovers, neither of which makes for an ideal lunch. So, we put together the perfect list of salad ingredients to stock up your fridge, whether it’s at home or at work. They don’t take up too much space and have tons of nutritious value. Even if you buy salad kits from the grocery store, consider rounding them out by sprinkling in these ingredients!

Pomegranate Seeds

While you can buy whole pomegranates, you’ll save time and work getting packets of seeds alone in the produce section. Delicious with chunks of butternut squash, kale and a huge lineup of fruits, pomegranate seeds also are a prime superfood in the fight against breast cancer. Chemicals in the pom suppress the production of estrogen, which research hopes will help stunt some cancer growth. You can also buy pomegranate seed oil, which is a great addition to your bathroom cabinet for extra skin health.

Blueberries

Another fruit that City of Hope has found helpful against tough breast cancer cases, blueberries are the perfect size for throwing into a spring salad. They taste especially delicious with spinach.

Lentils

Lentils add lots of texture to your salad, but are also provide Vitamin B and a very healthy form of fiber. Use these and beans to replace lunchtime bread! It’s helpful to cook lentils yourself and be sure to avoid adding too much salt. Lentils are delicious with tons of healthy spices, though, like turmeric and rosemary. Try them with these, kale and chicken for a delicious warm salad!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been a very popular health food for skin and digestion. If you’re having trouble with either, it doesn’t hurt to add a little tang to your salad with a homemade dressing. Try this recipe with honey and dijon mustard. Lots of salad dressings are unfortunately very sugary and fatty, so this is a great homemade alternative! Plus, you can adjust it to your taste.

Avocado

One of the best ways to get a healthy fat in your diet, some studies say that avocados can fight leukemia and other cancers. Plus, the edge of avocados closest to the skin can be full of cancer-fighting carotenoids, a type of antioxidant. Learn how to reach these when you cut your avocado here, and leave a couple on your desk to ripen up!

Wonderful Meditation Podcasts

When a busy week of work, travel or treatment feels overwhelming, it’s important to take a moment of peace for yourself. The Foundation for Living Beauty loves building grounding retreats for our women. Between those retreats, continue your moments of meditation and self-love with some of our favorite free podcasts. They all have different voices, perspectives and reflections, so you can find the best fit for your quiet moments!

If You Can’t Sleep:

Stin Hansen’s wonderful playlist (Fittingly entitled “ZZZZZZ….”) is an excellent choice for nights when it just feels tough to doze off. Stin gives gentle reminders that each project, worry or even joy has its own time and place. The calm music will also sweep you away into a good night of sleep. Download her podcast here.

If You’d Like A Beautiful Getaway or Love Nature: 

As one of our favorite meditation groups, the Meditation Society of Australia gives your moments of reflection and visualization an extra peaceful twist. Perfect for mornings or naps, their Cliff Visualization podcast brings you straight to the edge of a stunning Australian sunrise and leaves you feeling weightless. Download the podcast here.

If You Want to Take Yoga With You

If you’ve fallen in love with yoga, check out Yoga Download podcasts. Some are videos, and some are simply audio guides, but each podcast gives a variety of yoga poses for many purposes. Whether you’re a beginner or simply want to stretch, there is a wealth of free guidance! See their selections here.

If You’d Like a Quiet Moment to Focus on Breathing

Jesse and Jeane Stern have a variety of incredible podcasts, but their piece on Transformational Breathing can be done anywhere and is truly simple and grounding. Download the audio episode here.

Are there any other meditation focuses you’d like us to search out? We’re happy to help! Let us know which you enjoy, too!

Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Meets its Healthier Match

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it might seem like there is chocolate on every shelf, every counter and every menu in town. It’s one of our favorite tasty treats, but it is also packed with sugar and even caffeine. We did some digging and came up with a brilliant alternative for baking, trail mix and snacking.

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Carob comes from a tropical plant and has much less sugar than chocolate. Plus, it is naturally sweeter, so it needs less artificial ingredients to become a palatable treat. Carob is also low in fat and has plenty of calcium and fiber.

Markets like Whole Foods carry carob chips, which look almost identical to chocolate chips. Use them for low-sugar baking, melt them down into a warm drink, use them for a healthier fondue, throw them into trail mix or make protein-packed nut clusters.

Here are our favorite carob-worthy recipes and treats:

DAIRY AND CHOCOLATE-FREE HOT (COCOA) CAROB

TRAIL MIX IDEAS WITH CAROB

VEGAN CAROB BANANA BREAD

CAROB-COVERED RAISINS

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Therapy on the Trails

Sometimes, clearing your mind also means freeing your body from its normal routine. For therapist Nicole Shannon, the power of time outdoors can be healing and deeply powerful. Below, she tells us all about her Trail Sessions, where traditional therapy intersects with exercise and relaxation on hikes.

Trail Sessions Therapy sends your therapy on a hike. It adds the vast benefits of the outdoors to those of traditional psychotherapy. It puts your healing of mind and body in motion. Wellness of body and mind are so closely connected, that engaging your body in the healing of your mind naturally accelerates results. The trail becomes a dynamic work space for your body and mind. I encourage letting go of technology to embrace the natural beauty around us while doing physical activity. Trail Sessions Therapy was developed out of the belief that one’s emotional health is closely tied to their connection to nature and time spent outdoors. The ground beneath your feet will center you. The direction will unstick you from where you are stuck.

The trail hiking therapy sessions emphasize the distance you cover emotionally. It will focus on your strength and empowerment. Every step is a manifestation of your progress, every inhale is energy, every exhale is letting go of what does not serve you.

While the trail can seem daunting and steep you will not walk it alone. You have already shown courage by reaching out and putting yourself on the trail. I will help you find your footing, overcome obstacles and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. You will hike into a stronger and better you.

You set the pace and I will match it. Slower, meditative walks allow for clearing of the mind and free-flowing contemplation. Faster, power sessions facilitate targeted break-throughs and emotional responses. Trail Sessions Therapy adapts seamlessly and instantly to your ever evolving path to growth, wellness and healing.

If you’re interested in booking a session with Nicole, email nicole.shannon.lcsw@gmail.com for rates and more information.

Rachael Yahne’s HerAfter.com

Rachael Yahne’s career and life have been beautifully abundant. She has fallen in love in London, studied yoga in India and written poetry in Manhattan. Her inspiring blog, HerAfter.com, has been featured by major media outlets like Yahoo. She generously offered to share her story and daily inspirations with FFLB.

FFLB: When were you diagnosed with cancer, and what have treatment and recovery been like/taught you?

Rachael Yahne: I was diagnosed at age 17, while attending college (I started college early). The cancer was stage 4B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and had spread throughout my body and even into the bones. Unfortunately, my hometown simply didn’t have the resources to cure it, so a few days after Christmas my mother and I flew to LA to visit a doctor at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. He prescribed an experimental chemo, one that had been used only a few times before on less severe cases. It was a bold move, but we trusted him completely, and the chemo was not only successful, it was presented to a national board of doctors and has since been used to help other people survive. I am a very, very lucky lady to not only have gotten this chemo, but the guidance of that doctor, who saved my life.
Both treatment and recovery have taught me so much, but in vastly different ways. In treatment, I learned the power of the human spirit, what can happen if you really believe in yourself against all odds, and what human connection is really like. Powerful things can happen when two people converse with each other without the pretenses of having to pretend you’re ‘ok’ or that everything will turn out fine. Real love and real understanding can happen in those moments, even between strangers. Other patients taught me that you don’t have to have a long, healthy life ahead of you to be happy right now, being alive, and accepting the gift of this moment. But maybe most importantly, I realized that our hearts really do speak to us. You just have to listen…

Recovery, on the other hand, was for me really the hardest part of cancer. During treatment there is a deadline when all the medicine will stop, when you’ll be out of the hospital, and there’s structure and, strangely, a bit of clarity there. You’re focused. You know what you’re doing and what matters and everything else fades away. But going back to the real world, especially bald at 18, was a challenge. I had a hard time relating to peers, because what mattered to most 18-year-old’s didn’t much matter to me anymore. Recovery is a journey that never ends, but even the heartbreaking moments have taught me so much. I’ve learned to value the good and the bad of life, because I know how lucky I am to have all of it. I’m lucky to fall in love, I’m lucky to have physical pain that isn’t needles and surgery, I’m lucky to have accomplishments and failures. It all teaches me the richness of life, the beauty in every facet of existing, and the entire gamut of emotions -from despair to bliss- to feel when you’re ALIVE. Sure, there’s fear and sometimes there’s anger, but mostly there’s just gratitude. And gratitude is the absolute key to a happy life.

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FFLB: How has your support system influenced you?

RY: My support system is a strong one; I come from a family heavily plagued by cancer. We’ve had many members fight it, and some didn’t win their battle. Through it all we’ve really fallen together rather than apart. Through my years in adulthood since cancer, I’ve explored many paths, including non-profits and even the fashion industry. My family support system has always encouraged me to live up to my greatest potential, especially now as I’ve returned back to facing cancer again, this time through writing about it. I’m also lucky to have an incredible partner in life, who believes in my ability to change the lives of women and cancer survivors with my website, HerAfter.com. A support system is of vital importance throughout life. Especially for women, there’s a certain stigma in our culture that if you break down emotionally, or admit the hardships of your journey, it means you’re ‘weak’. But that’s simply not true, there’s great bravery in allowing yourself to release, break down, and build up again stronger. A support system is what helps remind you that you have all the pieces and armor to succeed, and there’s only love and courage in reaching out to others, not weakness.

FFLB: How does the positive attention your blog has received motivate you as both a woman and survivor?

RY: Well, as a survivor it’s incredibly motivating because I realize that there are a lot of patients out there, just like me, who feel that the battle never really ends. It’s a hard thing to explain, but things like having hair again or going about life pretending you don’t realize how brief and precious it is are big and soul-shaking concepts for survivors. I think, in a lot of ways, we don’t really prepare survivors for everyday life because we’re not sure how to yet! But survivor rates are growing, and so should our resources to help them thrive. So when I receive letters back from readers saying that the message of the website resonates with them, I know we’re on the right path, together.

As for women, it’s been a huge boost in not only my personal concept of femininity, but also my outlook on the future of women in this age. Look, there are enough magazines and websites telling women what to wear and how to look and what to say or do. But when I started HerAfter, I truly believed that women didn’t need all that, they needed the reassurance to trust themselves. They don’t need to be told what lipstick to wear, they need to realize why the deserve to cherish their individual beauty. They don’t need to be told what to wear, they need to learn to trust their instincts, and enjoy style as an act of self-expression. Women today have the ability know themselves, to trust themselves, they just need to access the power they already have inside! The basis behind HerAfter is that if we can help women find personal peace, that will create world peace. And you know what? It’s working. The feedback I get from women finding their power to fall back in love with their own lives is incredible. And that motivates me in both knowing I’m fulfilling my purpose, and also that women are waking up. The future looks bright!

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FFLB: What’s your favorite: Activity, Recipe, Mantra for getting through rough days?

RY: I have a few, because to be honest rough days are always out there for you. It’s not as though you survive cancer and every day is sunshine and rainbows; especially because part of you is constantly questioning ‘why did I survive?’ and ‘what should I do with this short life of mine’? Those are questions we’re all asking in some form or another, survivors or not. My strategy for dealing with the rough days where those questions are bringing me down is two-fold:

First, addressing it head on. Even if that means being uncomfortable, afraid, or even to cry. I believe it’s important that we don’t just try to avoid a bad day or a scary realization, but instead that we experience it and go into it. Allow the feelings to occur, allow the questions to arise, and really take a moment to analyze: why am I feeling this way? Have I done something I don’t feel good about, or am I feeling this way because I’ve let myself down, or someone else has let me down? Going into it is the only way to get through it, and get real clarity.

Second, I like to do some kind of activity that boosts my sense of strength and esteem, so I can be brave enough to solve whatever is going on. For me that usually means a long run outside, or a few moments of meditation, or even just an evening, in bed alone, with some tea and a documentary (I love biographies about women who’ve overcome the odds, for obvious reasons!). What will boost me up is different on different days; sometimes it’s hard work and sweat, and sometimes it’s resting and giving myself a break. Either way, I implement the mantra: “I trust you, universe” behind it all. This crazy life has lead me through some incredible moments! Ultimately, even as I try to sort out my emotions, I trust the universe for putting me wherever I find myself.

FFLB: What advice would you give to a fellow woman diagnosed with cancer?

RY: Oh, I’d tell her so many things! I receive a lot of letters and contacts from women diagnosed, or who are currently battling or have battled. First and foremost, I tell her to honor her journey. When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it is of the utmost importance that they make that battle their own. That they learn to listen to their intuition, to honor their own instincts, and to allow themselves to make their personal battle just that – personal to them. It doesn’t have to look like a Hallmark card or a Komen breast cancer walk-a-thon. It won’t always be smiles, in fact it will be incredibly, incredibly hard. But if she can really allow herself to feel it, to honor whatever emotions come along for her – sadness, bliss, anger, gratitude – I think only then can she realize all there really is in this life is love. Love is greater than anything, and it can exist for you even while you’re feeling angry or scared or nervous or whatever. Love is that big and powerful. If she honors her journey and herself, she can access a love deep within her that will carry her through.

FFLB: Can you explain your Weekly Loveletter? What can women who sign up expect to enjoy?

RY: The weekly loveletter is such a fun new part of HerAfter.com! It all started, truthfully, as a way to reach more women out there. I know there are women out there who need to read some of the articles on the site, and I will do absolutely anything to reach those women because I truly believe they deserve to live their best life! So the loveletter started as my take on a newsletter. What we first read and hear in the morning makes a huge difference in our entire day, including our productivity and our happiness. So the loveletter is designed to give readers and women a chance to read something positive first thing in the morning, for a change! It’s full of great stuff from the site, links to other inspiring articles and sites, plus other fun tid-bits. So even if they never make it to read the weekly post on HerAfter.com, they still get a little dose of inspiration and encouragement delivered right to them. I’m loving this personal touch to the project! And who knows, maybe after she reads something that lifts her up first thing in the morning, it will encourage her to do something else positive for herself that day!

And the loveletter is just the beginning! We’re also releasing a new mini-book edition for kindle and e-readers, to give women a quick guide to living beautifully and consciously! It will have all the essentials they need to transform their lives in everything from beauty to health and wellness to home decorating and even dating. It’s really going to change lives and it’s coming out soon! They can find more info about it on HerAfter.com in the coming weeks.