resources for healthy living from a cancer survivor
Hi, I’m Alison! I’m a mommy, 22 year cancer survivor of a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and a holistic health coach. I wanted to share with you some tips and resources that have helped me to live a healthy life after cancer. Even if you don’t have cancer (thank goodness) this can benefit your overall health and prevention.
Cancer treatment is so hard on our bodies, and after cancer treatment our bodies are very fragile. We need to rebuild our immune system and help our bodies detox from all of the treatment. Not to mention our mental health has taken a hit - fear, anxiety, sadness, and maybe anger has taken over our minds about the future and whats to come. We are all essentially what we eat, think and absorb right?
I learned a lot from some of my favorite books about what I should be doing on a daily basis to take care of my health - from what I eat, drink, say to myself, and put on my skin to what I use in my household, and the best types of exercise for me.
The Truth About Cancer: The first series I watched was The Truth About Cancer, and I later bought the book. This was the first resource I came across that gave me hope as a cancer survivor. Feeling helpless or out of control is an awful feeling, and this gave me the power and knowledge that I have choices when it comes to what I put in or on my body.
The Honest Life: I also read a great book by Jessica Alba called The Honest life. She talks a lot about how our environment, products, and things in our home can affect our health, and what we can do to change it. She inspired me to make changes to what I was buying for our home, and products I was using to clean it.
How to Make Disease Disappear: Another resource, and great read, is How to Make Disease Disappear by Rangan Chatterjee. He is a Doctor in the UK helping people make simple lifestyle changes that are having big effects on their health! This is a book everyone can benefit from.
Chris Beat Cancer: Chris Beat Cancer is a book by Chris Wark who had colon cancer at age 26 and refused chemotherapy. Instead he turned to nutrition and lifestyle changes to stay well and he has now helped many others do the same!
Once I started learning about the gut microbiome my mind was blown, in a good way, and some books I found to be super helpful were The 10 Day Detox by Mark Hyman, and Eat Dirt by Josh Axe. Both are so good in terms of us learning about the power of our food, and gut microbiome in our health.
The last book I found helpful is called Mindset by Carol Dweck. Our mind is so powerful and we will believe what it says, even if it’s not true. This is something we can all benefit from in any aspect of our life! We are meant for something big y’all but you have to believe in yourself to do it!
We have to be careful about what products we are using because many ingredients in them are harmful to our health. Here are some top products that I use and love…
Beauty Routine Essentials
My shampoo and conditioner is a brand called Natulique. Luckily my sister is an amazing hair dresser and has hooked me up with this line as well as their color line to help reduce my toxin exposure and still look good!
I use a face wash by Acure, a morning and night serum called Joyome by Plexus Worldwide, and a tinted sunscreen called Dew Skin by Beautycounter. All safe but effective! I also use a fluoride-free toothpaste to protect my thyroid health, it’s called Hello and has activated charcoal for whitening. My aluminum-free deodorant is by Primal Pit Paste. I also avoid perfume and other things that have fragrance in them. You can use coconut oil to remove makeup, apple cider vinegar as a skin toner if you need one, and even get handy and make face scrubs from things in your kitchen!
These are the brands I love, and I’m inviting you to think about the products you use… If they are not considered clean then slowly start to replace them. You can plug them into a “good” guide to see what their rating is in terms of safety and toxicity - the sites The Good Guide or EWG are examples of websites that can rate your products.
What we cook with and how we store our food matters. I try to avoid plastic as much as possible due to BPA, and other toxic surfaces like non-stick pans. I have four different sizes of cast iron skillets and they get used daily! I also have stainless steel bowls, pots, and pans that we use often. My instant pot/crock pot gets a lot of use, and we use glass lock food storage containers. I also avoid candles as these can make your air inside your home toxic. Use essential oil diffusers if you want scents in the house.
In my pantry I have lots of dried beans and whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, and nuts and seeds. We try to have as little processed food as possible, and with kids I try to buy better versions of things by avoiding wheat and dairy as much as possible. One other item I use daily is my Vitamin Blender for smoothies and my water purifier called the Berkey. Clean water is a must!
Exercise, clean food and water, clean products, quality sleep, positive mindset, and stress management are key areas we should all be working toward to have optimal health. If there was one thing to learn more about - especially those who have had cancer - it’s your gut microbiome. Since research points to poor gut health as the root cause of illness, it needs to be a priority. Most of our immune system functions come from our gut, as well as our ability to remove toxins and properly make and absorb nutrients.
Good luck to everyone on their journey to health. It can be a fun discovery as you go. And, please don’t be overwhelmed or feel like you’re not close to a clean routine… the best way to start is to start. Choose one area you want to focus on and go from there. As a holistic health coach, my focus is on helping others with gut restoration, clean eating, and how to manage making lifestyle choices that stick in their long term health journey.