With the tragic news of actress Valerie Harper’s brain cancer on the cover of last week’s People Magazine, it once again reminds us of the lack of control over the big ‘C.’ A cancer diagnosis can feel like a death sentence, and if there is a chance for recovery, the toxic cocktail used to treat the mutated, traitorous cells is often painful and difficult to endure. So is there anything we can do to protect ourselves? Celebrated author and cancer patient Kris Carr says, ‘yes.’ In fact, her treatment comes everyday in the form of a green juice.
Kris was only 32 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, an extremely rare form of cancer that only affects 1 in 1,000,000 people on average and is generally unresponsive to chemotherapy. Rather than fall into a pit of despair, Kris set out on a journey to learn how to heal her body and mind from the inside out. Her quest is chronicled in the documentary film, Crazy, Sexy, Cancer – a movie that changed my life and introduced me to the vibrant world of juicing. If you’re curious about juicing for immune support or are eating a standard American diet (SAD) and need a little fire under your tush to make better food choices, this film is superb. Why is it so powerful? Kris is a regular young woman who isn’t ready to give up. So often cancer makes us feel helpless, but Kris has taken matters into her own hands and is showing that cancer doesn’t have to define a life and a future.
I don’t have cancer, but I was recently hospitalized for 4 days with a rare form of E.Coli (it wasn’t pretty) and subsequently took a forced hiatus from my usual juicing routine. Not having fresh juice was bad enough but the true horror came when my food tray was delivered: white bread with a slice of slimy, bright orange American cheese, high fructose corn syrup sweetened chocolate pudding, and a cup of orange ‘juice’ from concentrate. Needless to say, I believe I left the hospital sicker than when I arrived.
As the wealthiest nation in the world, I know our healthcare system can do better. Personally, although I know there is no guarantee that green juice can prevent or cure cancer, I’m following the lead of Kris (and Hippocrates!), and am choosing to use my kitchen as my pharmacy and food as my medicine as much as possible.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com; photo by photographer Chance Agrella