My story-2015 check-up

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2013 09 18_1694
# 17 Red Pepper (score 41.26)

Yesterday, I went for my 6-month “ritual” with my oncologist that I have been doing for 17 Yrs. It is a seasonal ritual. It always happens in the spring when my garden is first showing signs of life and again in the late fall when my garden slows down for winter. It always makes me “pause” in my life. I always go a week before to the Lab to have my blood drawn minus the chest x-ray and CT since the year 2013. It is always the same…I show up, they weigh me, take my blood pressure which is generally high since I am nervous. He checks my nodes, looks at my blood work, asks me how I am doing…but for the past few years  he keeps asking me the same question, “How long has it been?” This time he asked again,

“10 years, right?”

I said, “No, it will be 15 (wrote this post in 2015)

I started with him in 1999, and my dx was in 2000 spring.” He always says the same thing,

” Has it been that long? “

Then he smiles, ” See you in 6 months, don’t forget to schedule your appointment.”

This time it changed,

I asked him, ” Well, will I ever be cured?

He stopped before opening the door and said,” No.”

# 27 Tomato (Score: 20.37)

I then asked him, is my case normal?” He said,” Most people can live with this for many years but require treatment more often. He then continues with, “It can transform to a more aggressive lymphoma.” I asked, “Well, does that mean if it transforms, I am cured since aggressive lymphoma is curable.” He said, ” No, you would still have the other “NHL-indolent ( slow-growing) at this time it is incurable and yours is not acting like the typical NHL-indolent.”

I guess he meant this comment because I had chemo treatment only once which was in 2003…

#31 Radish (Score: 16.91)

I bet at this point you are wondering, “What does this have to do with 41 nutritious foods on earth”. Well, A LOT! I am getting on my soapbox again about how we need to support our scientists and get the information out there that what you put in your body does make a difference. How we take care of the environment or land around us does make a difference. I was told in 2003 by this same doctor, ” You will more than likely need treatment every 2-3 years.” That day, I went home to my kids that aged 8,11 and 13, at the time and made the decision to fight as hard as I had to fight to be around as long as I could.

# 2 Chinese cabbage (Score: 91.99)

I had no idea what my journey would be with the big “C” or cancer! When you are first introduced to the “C” word it scares the crap out of you. We all have different “C” types, treatment types, and each and every one of us has a different journey with the “C.” Some of us may die, be cured, or some of us learn to live with the C. I am of the “C” family that will live with my cancer till I leave this earth.

Cancer is becoming more a chronic condition for many people today. We are living with a diagnosis of cancer as many others live with other chronic illnesses. I see cancer ‘s future as no longer a “death sentence” for some people. Not all of us are going to die. Some will be cured, and some will have to learn to “live with Cancer” the rest of their life. Manage it just like someone does with diabetes or other chronic ailments.

#7 Leaf lettuce (Score: 70.73)

 I started this blog in 2010 to show people how growing food can make a difference to your health.  I am not a scientist, but I am an educator. I never pictured myself spending the second half of it, which  I am thankful every day to have…( a grateful pause + sigh)….doing a blog about growing food, flowers and herbs on city lots. If you asked me before 2000 what I would be doing with the rest of my life, well it would not be this! I had other goals before my “C”  journey. We all have life-changing moments some are small, but some are big enough to knock you down if you let them. I can tell you that the “C” is my life-changing moment. It didn’t knock me down for too long….

#9 Romaine lettuce (Score: 63.48)

I believe that the answers to many of our health problems are here on earth just waiting for us to discover. I believe they have always been here and somehow our disconnection to nature around us lately, has made us vulnerable. We used to be a society that had our hands in the soil and knew how to grow our food. We did not depend on others to grow food for us, we had food growing right in our backyard or community.

People did not need to go to the gym for a workout, they worked in their gardens to grow food, walked places and knew how to do “things” for themselves.Today we sit in chairs ( I included right now-LOL) typing on “things” that make your life easier. I love science but when we start creating “instruments” to exercise our muscles while we sit that might be a game changer! I believe it is in our DNA to love nature and be outside digging in the soil. It never ceases to amaze me when people start growing vegetables, herbs or flowers they just can’t get enough. We are built to work the land and technology is great, but we need to “balance” and get outside growing and learning how to keep ourselves healthy.

Copy (3) of IMG_5332
#6 Chicory (Score: 73.36) #8 Parsley (Score: 65.59)

Taking tons of vitamins, or expensive health drinks won’t be the answer…we need to eat “food” that is alive and fresh from our gardens. I believe a healthy immune system is an answer to beating the disease. Shoot…my “C” is in my immune system. I have Indolent Non-Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma.I have learned over the years, how crucial our immune system is, it is our best defense against disease!

# 3 Chard (Score: 89.27)

A long time ago, I was dropping off plants + seeds to be used at a community/urban farm.  I mentioned to the organic grower,  “We all need an “immunity garden where we live.” She smiled and said, “I like that, Robbie” An immunity garden.” Well, it got me thinking. Yes, we do need an immunity garden right out our door! It has helped me fight my chronic disease all these years.I grow medicine right where I live for myself, others and take care of nature at the same time! It is my mission for the second half of whatever time I have left on earth to inspire you to create an immunity garden, right out your door where ever you live…  As for the 41 most Nutritious Food on Earth, well, sometimes I just have to post the entire article for you to read, ( long sigh…) since a lot of you don’t click-through to read….

# 15 Kale (Score: 49.07)

Please, read this article because it will help you fight the good fight!

SCIENCEMore: Health Center for Disease Control (CDC) Nutrition Food

Everyone has different dietary needs, and no one should make drastic dietary changes without consulting a dietitian or a doctor. But adding more “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables to your diet is a good first step on the way to a healthier lifestyle.

The 41 Most Nutritious Foods On Earth

Now, a Jun. 5 study in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease puts forth a method for defining and ranking powerhouse foods.

Jump to the ranking »

Lead author Jennifer Di Noia, a sociologist at William Paterson University who specializes in public health and food choice, came up with a preliminary list of 47 “powerhouse” foods based on consumer guidelines and scientific literature. For example, berries and vegetables in the onion/garlic family were included “in light of their associations with reduced risks for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers.”

Di Noia then ranked the foods based on their nutritional density. She focused on 17 nutrients “of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine.” These are potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

Each food had to provide at least 10% of the daily value of a particular nutrient to be considered a good source. Providing more than 100% of the daily value of one nutrient conferred no extra benefit. The scores were calculated for lower-calorie foods and weighted based on how “bioavailable” each nutrient is (i.e., how much the body can make use of a nutrient once it’s been ingested in food form).

Six foods (raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry) on the original list of 47 did not satisfy the “powerhouse” criteria. Here are the remaining 41, ranked in order of nutrient density. Foods that are high in nutrients without also being high in calories will be at the top.

  1. Watercress (Score: 100.00)
  2. Chinese cabbage (Score: 91.99)
  3. Chard (Score: 89.27)
  4. Beet green (Score: 87.08)
  5. Spinach (Score: 86.43)
  6. Chicory (Score: 73.36)
  7. Leaf lettuce (Score: 70.73)
  8. Parsley (Score: 65.59)
  9. Romaine lettuce (Score: 63.48)
  10. Collard green (Score: 62.49)
  11. Turnip green (Score: 62.12)
  12. Mustard green (Score: 61.39)
  13. Endive (Score: 60.44)
  14. Chive (Score: 54.80)
  15. Kale (Score: 49.07)
  16. Dandelion green (Score: 46.34)
  17. Red pepper (Score: 41.26)
  18. Arugula (Score: 37.65)
  19. Broccoli (Score: 34.89)
  20. Pumpkin (Score: 33.82)
  21. Brussels sprout (Score: 32.23)
  22. Scallion (Score: 27.35)
  23. Kohlrabi (Score: 25.92)
  24. Cauliflower (Score: 25.13)
  25. Cabbage (Score: 24.51)
  26. Carrot (Score: 22.60)
  27. Tomato (Score: 20.37)
  28. Lemon (Score: 18.72)
  29. Iceberg lettuce (Score: 18.28)
  30. Strawberry (Score: 17.59)
  31. Radish (Score: 16.91)
  32. Winter squash (Score: 13.89)
  33. Orange (Score: 12.91)
  34. Lime (Score: 12.23)
  35. Grapefruit (pink/red) (Score: 11.64)
  36. Rutabaga (Score: 11.58)
  37. Turnip (Score: 11.43)
  38. Blackberry (Score: 11.39)
  39. Leek (Score: 10.69)
  40. Sweet potato (Score: 10.51)
  41. Grapefruit (white) (Score: 10.47)

I am thankful every November for the ability to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs + flowers on our city lot. None of us are alike. We don’t know how long we have here and if we are all living longer, we need to learn how to take care of the only body we have….for you never know when a life-changing moment will happen to you…be prepared!

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