I remember so many occasions on which I would laugh or comment on my friend’s nutritional choice. One of them was vegan. I could never imagine that she chose not to eat a tasty red piece of steak, or a slice of delicious Swiss cheese. Why? What was she thinking? I would look at her and just shake my head… Often she tried to explain to me why she made the change and why I should think about this change as well, but once again I just shook my head.
I love life; I love everything it has to offer. Whether it is the bright sun rays shining into my balcony in the morning, a scoop of ice cream on a hot summers day or just a bright red apple that tastes juicy. I ate everything until just a few months ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer stages 1,2,3 and metastasis in the lungs.
Shock! Why me? What have I done wrong? Thoughts like these kept rushing through my mind the first few days after the diagnosis. When the shock was over and the reality kicked in, I had to act, and fast. I am sure all of us have heard people saying “Red meat triggers cancer”, “Smoking kills” or “Limit your alcohol consumption”, but I didn’t smoke at all, or drink that much alcohol but I ate everything, without thinking about the consequences. Was this maybe a factor in getting breast cancer? I don’t know, and I wont ever know, but I know that by changing my nutrition I can increase my survival chances by 50%.
The more and more I thought about it, the more I realized what I have been eating is poison for my body, but sweet as candy for my cancer. I had been feeding my cancer for years, exactly what it wanted to eat and drink. This had to stop, NOW! It was my time to finally understand that I am making a choice of living or slowly dying.
In just a few days, I read multiple books, listened to numerous podcasts and watched a variety of videos, all to do with nutrition in breast cancer. One thing I learnt was what a huge factor nutrition plays in helping the body fight the illness.
The first week after the diagnosis, my doctor forbade me to eat sugar. I took it on board and stopped eating anything sugary. Passing by supermarket shelves filled with my favorite cookies or sour candy, I always reminded myself of the consequences I will be facing if I continue eating sugar, and the benefits of not eating sugar. After I accepted how bad sugar was for me, I then understood how harmful meat was for me. And again, from one second to another I decided to cut out meat and preferred to enjoy some fish and dairy instead. I certainly did feel better, but were my chances of surviving the ‘most aggressive breast cancer’ enough by only cutting out just sugar and meat? The answer was definitely no.
My friend suggested I read a book called “How not to die”, by Michael Gregor with Gene Stone. This book changed my thinking in a second. I decided to go full out, meaning turning vegan! This was not a process or a thought I had ever dreamt about, but it was a decision that had to be made, fast. Reading all the benefits that plant based food would have on me, it was overwhelming and extremely promising.
Later that afternoon I stormed the health food supermarket and bought everything from beetroot to celery and quinoa to black rice. Of course I made a huge shopping list before, which I called ‘Breast Cancer Superfood’, which had all the best foods to fight the illness written on it.
Days and weeks have past since then, spending hours looking at recipes books and getting inspired for what’s really best for me. Commitment happened in the kitchen when I started to explore my new vegan way of life, and I can tell you I feel better than ever! Even though at the beginning I have to admit I missed chewing a proper piece of meat or having a piece of parmesan cheese, but with time and extremely strong willpower I got there, and I am loving all the recipes that I make. It is not just a vegan way of life, but I also don’t consume any sugar either, which limits you even more, but the benefits out way any slipups, and for me there is no going back!
After just 2.5 months of chemotherapy, my results have shown immense progress and I believe it’s not just due to the medication, but what I eat also plays an enormous role.
Nourish your body well, as food can either be a natural medicine or poison for your body. Choose carefully!
Wake up with determination, go to sleep with satisfaction. It’s never too late.
Sending you all positive thoughts and energy, and remember your mind is stronger than you think.
Leora is a 27 years young women who was diagnosed with stages 1,2,3 breast cancer and metastasis in the lungs at the end of November 2016. She was born in Berlin, Germany and has lived all over the world. Leora has a degree in nutrition, is a fitness instructor & personal trainer and is currently studying homeopathy to develop her skills as a healer for herself and after for others.
Leora believes that it is her duty to tell other young woman how important breast awareness really is. She is sharing her story, journey and tips on Instagram and her blog. Whether you are a cancer patient or not Leora’s messages and journey are an inspiration for all of us.