Back in 2009, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was one of the most trying times of my life and also one of the biggest moments of blessing. I was terrified for the life of my mother and what that meant for the rest of us. My mom has always been our rock and that never changed. Not during the surgery, the chemo, or even the days of worry. If it wasn’t for my mom, I’m not sure we would have made it through her cancer. It’s a crazy statement to make. I’m so grateful for my momma and praise God every day that she is here with me and Emma Grayce. I know several people who lost their mothers to this battle before their own children were born and because of this, I feel beyond blessed.
After mom’s surgery and treatment, I began hearing crazy words I had never heard before, or at least not knowing their relation to cancer. Words like parabens, estrogen based, progesterone based, hormone and steroid addictives, and more. The sad thing is, this really didn’t hit home with me. I should have been smacked across the face. Then I had Emma and realized all the cancer causing agents found in HER baby products. Can you believe that? I am using cancer-causing agents in MY BABY PRODUCTS. When I heard this I flipped out. I wanted to call my mom and fuss. And I did. How can we knowingly do this to ourselves and more importantly, our children? I’ll tell you why. After years of over processing and finding the “easy” and “cheap” ways to mass produce items, we’re left with food lasting longer than it even should have and lotions rubbing cancer right into our skin just for the sake of smelling good. I decided that the Linkous family was going to take a stand. We were going to make a change. And here’s what we did-
I nursed. By nursing, I reduced Emma’s chances of getting breast cancer by 25%. If she nurses her future children, it reduces it by another 25%. I can only do my end, but hope she will do the same for her health and the health of her future children. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying formula feeding is wrong. I’m just saying that with the cancer pattern in my family, this was what I felt was the best choice for us. Check out this information for nursing moms:
- Making milk limits the ability for breast cells to produce anything else
- Most women have none or few menstrual cycles during their pregnancy and their nursing time, which lowers estrogen levels and the amount exposed to
- While nursing, most women eat healthier and avoid smoking and alcohol, which can also be linked to cancer
We have begun buying unprocessed foods. For example, we have been buying Duchess Brand Milk (local brand) which is steroid and hormone free. Now, you will find other milk that claims to be but read it really close. Some brands have a low enough amount that they can say this and then in the fine print it lists the steroids/hormones being used. Are you KIDDING me? Our little girls are growing into women (in size and development) by the age of 11 and this isn’t just because or by chance. It’s because of all the food with added hormones and steroids so be sure to watch your milk, chicken, and other meats. We buy a lot from our local farmer market and always by wild caught fish at the grocery store. We also use venison for our ground meat. We rarely taste the difference plus it’s cheaper…and safer. We also buy a lot of our other items (ie: rice, quinoa, etc) from King’s Produce in Wytheville, VA. If you live close it’s worth the drive. We love that place! If you don’t live nearby, I recommend researching local stores that offer healthy alternatives as well as chains that are known for their good quality and healthy foods.
We have also been buying our fruits and vegetables free from pesticides. We focus mainly on the farmer’s market and try to buy what’s in season. There are sometimes they don’t have what you need and in these cases you can either stock up when they have it and store it in your mom’s freezer (love you mom!) or buy organic. Organic is expensive and sometimes not feasible, but we try to follow this tip on what to buy organic when we’re having to cut our budget back.
And we have begun doing research on other ways to keep ourselves healthy. There are A LOT of foods out there that do their job for you. We use this chart to focus on what things need to be a necessity in our diet.
Another area we’re beginning to do better on is our health and beauty items. What does it help to eat unprocessed chicken if I’m covering my skin in paraben every morning? We have started this adventure and are so grateful for sites like Vitacost where we can get these items for much cheaper. There are also several brands available that I had never heard of before but have excellent reviews. Here is my most recent orders from there. Love it! Also, if you sign up via my account, you can get $10 off your first order! I get $10 for you ordering, and you get $10. It’s a win/win! And if you sign up more people, you keep getting money off for their first orders. I highly recommend checking out the baby/kids section on here. They often times have items the same price as I would pay at Target but much healthier options.
So this is what we’re doing to work towards a healthier, cleaner lifestyle for us…and for Emma. Does this mean we’ve beat cancer and are the healthiest we’ll ever be? Nope. But it means we’re a little bit closer than we were yesterday. If breast cancer runs in your family, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to get a baseline mammogram scheduled and find out what ways you can prevent breast cancer in your own life.
What are you doing to help your family get more clean? Anything I missed?