Ever since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the YOUNG age of 55, something in me shifted. My world was rocked. I started to get more aware of the connection with our diets and our health. Although, he was truly relatively healthy. He was an avid runner, enjoyed good food + wine, but truly never had any health issues, aside from some dental work that would pop up from time to time.
This year I will be 45. And I think so often...
If my Dad knew at my age he only had 10 more years on this earth... would he EVER have believed you! No way! And neither would I.
Sadly, he lost his 10-month battle February 5th, 2001, when I was only 29, a few months before my 30th birthday. He was only 56. It has been FIFTEEN YEARS. That is how long I haven't been able to look into his sweet blue eyes. FIFTEEN. And I visualize him lying in that hospital bed, before taking his last breath, more than I would like to.
I'm often asked to think of my "why", in regard to what drives me to succeed in the health + wellness industry I am in. And it finally clicked that my amazing Dad is my "why". He's the reason I'm so passionate about educating people about all of the garbage in our food supply (especially when it comes to feeding our children). Why we need to question things that medical doctors suggest, as they aren't educated in nutrition. Period. Yes, there is a time and a place for everything, but I think we are too quick to pop that pill, instead of make some tweaks to our lifestyles and diets. It's MUCH MUCH easier to just take a drug, and keep on keeping on, as we were. Doctors are mostly paid by pharmaceutical company's to push their drugs, which are a part of a BILLION dollar industry. They (and we) aren't taught that there are so many herbs + plants + spices + fruits + vegetables that can actually HEAL us- that don't have a laundry list of "side effects", 10 times worse than the ailment that you are trying to cure (like ALL pharmaceutical drugs do).
My Daddy is my "WHY" because I am married to the love of my life, and although we met later than we would have liked- I want to spend 100 more years with him!!! He showed me, while being married to my Mom for 32 years, what TRUE LOVE looks like, and that there are people out there who you actually CAN spend the rest of your life with, if you are lucky enough to find them. And my 4 precious + beautiful children, none of who ever got a chance to meet their "Pop Pop", are my WORLD, and I want to be here for as LONG as I can for THEM! I want to watch them grow + learn + cherish them every single minute, of every single day.
And I can guarantee, that my Dad wanted all of these things too! And sadly, that was all cut WAY too short.
The fact is, cancer runs in BOTH sides of my family...so chances are pretty high that my brother and I will more than likely be next. And that fact SUCKS. So, you can rest assured that I will do what I can NOW to prevent that from happening sooner than later. FOOD will be my medicine, NOT some pill or shot that is sold to a doctor. LUCKILY, I found an AMAZING Naturopath doctor about 9 years ago, who had been my primary doctor ever since. Where HEALING occurs WITHOUT drugs or surgery! That is what it is all about.
YES, I may be known to share some not so exciting facts from time to time. Facts that people may choose to believe are untrue. Because you know, ignorance is bliss after all. But in the end. I'm NOT trying to be annoying. I'm NOT trying to be a know it all. I'm NOT perfect. I'm NOT a doctor. BUT I do want to help prevent ANYONE and EVERYONE the heartbreak of losing their hero, their Daddy, LONG before they should have to. As THAT Is what happened to me. Not only did my Dad never meet his grandchildren (zero out of 7), he never got to retire. He never got to celebrate this 33rd wedding anniversary with my beautiful Mom. He never got to know that I attended massage school. Or that I started my own business making aromatherapy products. That I finally found my true other half, that reminds me of him in many ways, and ended up marrying him. That I am knee deep in helping others, young and old, new friends and old, transform their lives through my superfood nutrition business. That I kind of (proudly) turned into that "rebellious, stubborn, question-everything, tree-hugging, hippie" that he would jokingly refer to me as. That I found a home, surrounded by trees, just like our home was in New Jersey. That I took up running, just like him, and how badly I would have loved to run a race with him. That I still can't believe he made us move across the country, in the middle of my freshman year of high school (although, I know he did it for a reason, his family was everything to him). That he affects all that I do in my life today, and that I AM who I AM because of him. His drive. His motivation. His energy. It was contagious. Ask anyone and everyone who knew him, personally or professionally. He was adored by ALL who came into contact with him. THIS is what I (and my mom + brother) LOST. Because of cancer.
I still hope to get certified as a holistic nutritionist, to expand my knowledge even further. It's truly my passion now- all holistic living is actually. And while I'm thankful my life has turned down this incredibly beautiful path... I wish there was a different reason I became this way.
Remember, sugar feeds cancer cells (and makes you fat, and is 7 times more addicting than cocaine), and (healthy) FAT is your FRIEND.