Tips From a Cancer Survivor: Invest in Your Future, Invest in Your Health

Sandy Cardy (CPA, CA, CFP)

On Valentine’s Day in 2012 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

As a leading authority on financial, tax, and estate planning, I’ve spent many years helping people grow their net worth and preserve the value of their estates. My mantra to clients has always been, “Wealth is built with returns over time.” Sound, life-long investment strategies have the greatest impact on your financial future, especially when you’re planning for the later years. It was that Valentine’s Day, after I received the phone call, that I realized that the definition of ”wealth” I’d been operating under was flawed. Because what good is all that financial planning if you aren’t around to enjoy the rewards?

I ate well, exercised, and had a fulfilling career and a great family life. But I hadn’t paid enough attention to investing in my health. This life-changing event forced me to re-examine my health: both in lifestyle & diet. The more I researched, the more it became obvious to me that there was so much more I could have been doing in terms of preventive healthcare.

I had surgery in 2012 and spent three weeks in Reno, Nevada having immune boosting IVs as well as a few sessions of low-dose chemo with IPT. Cancer is a multi-factorial disease, and I now focus on my whole body — mental, emotional, and physical. Embarking on a quest to find ways to get my body back in balance, I spent two years researching and investigating all things health-related, using my body as a test lab. Over a series of blogs I’ve written for Life Extension, I will share with you what worked to get my body back in balance on my journey to optimal health and wellness. My first step was finding the right healthcare provider.

Finding The Right Healthcare Provider

Today, many people are becoming more health conscious, giving way to a new era of personalized medicine and a growing awareness of our body’s ability to repair itself. I predict that in the next decade or so, there will be greater acceptance of the notion that the body is incredibly resilient and a shift in support for preventive medicine and the importance of a healthy mindset.

When it comes to our health, we can't simply rely on medical professionals to take care of us. The smartest approach to healthcare is self-care — that is, self-initiated and deliberate care for one's self.

Whether you begin looking for a healthcare provider because of a health crisis or because you’re looking into preventive health, you need the team you build to provide precisely the right kind of support. The practitioners you choose may be from western or eastern medicine, conventional or alternative — it is your choice. But whoever they are, it is key to find healers who truly empower your outlook. It's about working alongside your team of doctors (involved in decisions, and also taking charge) in a way that makes you feel empowered, because when you are feeling empowered you will heal, provided you give your body the right tools.

Invest In Yourself

Here are three simple steps (or tools as I like to call them) for investing in your health to get started…

1. Add Daily Fiber

Fiber equates to “regularity”, right. “Well, ye-ah, so what?” I used to scoff. Well, fiber is a lot more beneficial than for just keeping you regular. Fiber helps the body eliminate toxins.

Normally, used-up estrogens are excreted (in stool and bile). But if you have a stressed-out liver (and many do) you may not be excreting estrogens as well as you might.

The standard North American diet is prone to raising estrogen levels, because the wrong kind of diet can alter gut bacteria causing used-up estrogens to be re-absorbed into the bloodstream.

Over time, accumulating estrogens can be a contributing factor to breast and gynecological cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.

One way to shuttle out estrogens is through fiber. To boost fiber intake, grab seeds (like flax) and up your fruit and vegetable intake.

Experts recommend at least 30 grams of fiber per day. If you don’t feel you can get that from food, medicinal fiber from supplements can help.

2. Change Your Breakfast Routine — Just A Little

What you eat at breakfast sets the tone for the day, and improvements can begin with two simple moves.

First, drink a glass of warm water, with the juice of half a lemon, 15-30 minutes before eating. If half a lemon is too harsh, start with just a few drops and slowly build up to half a lemon. This will get your gut’s HCl (hydrochloric acid) stimulated. And you want that because HCL is bad for bugs and good for you! HCl is our first line of defense against bacteria and pathogens – HCl kills bugs that can make you sick. Also, healthy levels of HCl stimulate the enzymes that break down food and optimize extraction of food’s nutritional value.

Second, eat a balance of protein, fat, and fiber at breakfast, to give you balanced energy reserves throughout the day.

3. Support Your Liver

The liver is the largest internal organ in your body and performs about 500 functions, including blood detoxification.

Our livers are more overtaxed than ever. Also, many people have sluggish livers. Signs the liver is overburdened manifest as things like digestive issues, skin problems, lethargy, blood sugar fluctuations, hormonal imbalances, and intolerance to coffee and alcohol.

The standard liver enzyme tests may well result in your doctor telling you your liver is fine. The reality is that liver abnormalities will only register in standard blood work after years of abuse.

While our livers are designed to excrete toxins (such as harmful estrogen metabolites) naturally there are a couple of contemporary problems that obstruct optimal functioning. First, in today’s world, toxic load exceeds the capacity of the channels of elimination. Secondly, some people are genetically better able to detoxify their livers than others. By eating the following several times a week you can support your liver’s detoxification:

Brassicas (like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli): Good not just for eliminating toxins, but also for their high nutrient count and for facilitating the excretion of harmful estrogens.

Alliums (onions and garlic): These contain nutrients from the sulfur family and support the liver’s detox pathways.

Turmeric: This spice contains curcumin, which both eases inflammation and supports liver detox.

I’ve learned, from personal experience, true wealth is about more than balance sheets and income statements — health is vital to the equation too.

How are you investing in yourself?

Sandy Cardy (CPA, CA, CFP) is a leading authority on tax and estate planning, and for many years Sandy helped individuals grow their net worth. Diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and now cancer-free and thriving, she speaks and teaches widely on how to make sound personal and financial decisions, embrace radiant health, and how to build a lasting legacy in all senses of the word. You can sign up for Sandy’s newsletter and download her eBook (7 Steps for Finding the Right Financial Advisor and 7 Steps forFinding the Right Healthcare Provider) on her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20138982
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731019/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17691916
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17028159
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20229497
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9630736

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