Learning about….my FOOD

You may or may not be surprised to know that one of my biggest challenges this past year has been learning about FOOD and implementing huge changes to both my diet and my kitchen.

Getting diagnosed with an illness such as cancer makes you look at yourself and ask the question: Where did I go wrong?  What am I doing that my body does not like?

Although I can not answer these questions, I have come to realize that it is not one thing or another that I did to cause my cancer.  I do know that I can change what I put into my body going forward, to help support it in its fight against cancer.

I don’t think that FOOD caused my cancer, nor am I of the belief that FOOD alone will be the cure.  But I am a firm believer that what we eat contributes to our overall health more than we think it does.  I believe that we can ward off illness and even prevent serious diseases by taking better care of ourselves and controlling what goes in our bodies.  If we get our bodies into an alkaline state with an abundance of nutrients to work with, I believe we will have a better chance at healing.

I have never been the unhealthiest person, nor have I been the healthiest.  I have had an addiction to candy since I was very young, but over the past 8 years or so I have taken pretty good care of myself.  I exercised fairly regularly, was a healthy eater (aside from my LOVE of candy) and I was not a heavy drinker, smoker, drug user etc.  And even so, I got sick.

My body is fighting like crazy to stay healthy and when I got diagnosed I knew I had to drastically change my diet to give myself all the healthy nutrients I needed to fight harder. This meant giving up some of my most favourite things and adding a lot of my least favourite things into my day to day meal planning.

Food Blog

Here is a list of my biggest lessons over the past 12 months:

  1. We really need to support local small growers that do not spray our fruits and vegetables! ORGANIC is best!!! Now this has been a struggle. When you switch to an organic grocery list, you have to eat what’s in stock and sometimes it is not a lot in Central Alberta.  Summertime is great when you can grow your own veggies, take advantage of Purearth Organics weekly ordering system (open year round) or even try a local veggie box program such as the one over at Steel Pony Farm.

  2. Sugar really is BAD for you. We all know this and we all need to seriously look at the amount of sugar that is in our day to day diet, but I really needed to quit cold turkey.  Cancer loves sugar.  Did you know that they inject you with a glucose based solution before you a PET scan?  They look for the areas in your body that are metabolizing the glucose the fastest and that is where the cancer is found (with some exceptions).  I won’t get into the science of sugar and cancer as it is very controversial and I am not educated enough on the nitty gritty, but check out the references below for some great reading.  No more m&m’s, mini eggs and Bulk Barn runs for this mamma (insert really sad face here).  *I do however feed my soul and have a treat on really special occasions (YAY)

  3. We eat wayyyyyyyy to much processed food. Fast food, boxed food, canned food (not all bad!) and junk food.  I never thought I ate too much of it, but when I changed over my kitchen, I had to pretty much get rid of my entire pantry.  Not only does processed food have a lot of additives and preservatives, it has a lot of sugar and salt added too!  I challenge you to take 3 items from your panty that are processed and replace them with real, raw food.  My rule is, if I don’t know more than one ingredient on the box, I don’t buy it!

  4. Cooking can be fun!! Learning new recipes is a great thing to do as a family.  I will be the first to say it does not always taste good, but when it does it sure feels good.  Feeding your body and your family food with real whole foods is super rewarding.

  5. Kids love healthy food too!!  My son is one of the healthiest people I know.  He was only 10 months old when I was diagnosed, so has never really had any “garbage” food.  He does not really know what sugar tastes like unless it is from fruit or honey and he thinks blueberries and raisins are treats!  He eats all his veggies and I never have to worry about him not getting all his nutrients from whole foods.  His tastebuds have never experienced junk food before so real food tastes amazing.

  6. Eating healthy is expensive!  Yes, organic veggies cost more and junk food is cheap!  In the long run though, you will buy less medicine, feel better and look great!  I promise that the extra money spent is well worth it.  YOU and your health are worth ever penny!  There are also lots of ways to save money.  Check out my next lesson learned on gardening and this dirty dozen list that you can use when shopping to help you save money and shop smart.

  7. Gardening is healing.  My challenge to you this year: PLANT A GARDEN.  Even if you only start out with a pot of strawberries or tomatoes. Grow your favourite and enjoy eating the fruits of your labour (literally).  I will post about my garden project later this month.

  8. Juicing and Smoothies are a great way to add additional veggies to your diet. They are both great for you and they both taste delicious.  Here are my go to recipes for drinking my veggies.  I have had my share of really gross ones over the past year, but I am getting much better at knowing what to put with what to make it taste good.                                                       

Green Smoothie

1 frozen Banana
4 slices of frozen Pineapple
1/4 frozen Lemon with peel
2 cups spinach or kale
handful of fresh Parsley
1/2-a full Cucumber
1-2 cups of Water or Coconut water
3 or 4 Ice cubes
2 or 3 stalks of Celery (optional)
1 Kiwi (optional)
1 TBSP Flax or Chia seeds (optional)

Insert all into a blender or vita-mix and blend until smooth
Makes 2-3 servings

Green Juice

1 Cucumber
2 handfuls of Kale
3-4 stalks of Celery
1 Stem of Broccoli
1 handful of Parsley
1 handful of Pea shoots
1 inch of Ginger
1/2 a Lemon
1 Green Apple

Juice all in your favourite juicer and Enjoy!
Makes 2-3 servings.

Changing your diet is a lifestyle change.  Yes, I still miss my candy and tiger tiger ice cream (YUM).  But, I also know that my body is healthier and happier than ever before.  I have learnt to bake treats from scratch to satisfy my cravings and have started to enjoy my time in the kitchen with my family.  It is worth the time and extra money to have a happy, healthy family.

I promise!!

What have you learnt lately about the food you eat?  Share your stories, your favourite recipe or both below or on Facebook and lets learn from one another!!

Lots of LOVE,

*Top Photo taken by Jayme at The Paper Deer Photography

For more reading on Sugar and Cancer or Chemicals in our food check out these posts:

  1. Kris Carr on Sugar
  2. Food Matters
  3. Chemicals in Our Food
  4. 7 Other Chemicals in our Food

Learning to feel…..

I decided today that we need to take lessons from our children.  If you don’t have children take lessons from your friends kids, watch the kids at the park, or trust me.

My son Sawyer feels every emotion.  You can see it in his eyes.  He does not care what other people think, he is not embarrassed, nor does he hide anything.  I always know if he is happy, angry, sad or content.  He wears his heart on his sleeve (Just look at his face above……you know exactly how he is feeling).

I admire him.  I admire that children have yet to learn to bottle their emotions or to turn them off.  They feel everything.  I also believe they see everything, they see right through us.  Children pick up on our every move, they feel our pain and celebrate our joy.  There is nothing better than when they look at you, its like they look right into your soul.

So let’s ask ourselves: Are you truly experiencing each moment?  Do you ever just move on, or run away from a situation without really focusing on what you were meant to take away from it?

I sure have.  I feel like in this crazy busy world we all do this far too often and most of the time we don’t even notice.  I don’t want to do this anymore and I would like to start experiencing every moment for what it is.  This week has pushed me to truly feel.  To be present in the moment and to experience whatever emotion comes up.

Sadness, fear, love, hurt, joy, anger…..

They all come up at different times for us and lately for me I experience them all in a day, or if I am being completely honest even an hour.

Throughout this past year I have realized that it is all too easy for me to just “be okay” no matter what.  Whether I am jumping with joy on the inside or running for my life in fear, it is so easy to just “be okay”.  Who am I kidding though?  Surely not myself and I guarantee my loved ones see right through it (even if they pretend not to).  So why not be honest about our feelings?  Life should be about experiencing each and every moment.  The good ones, the bad ones and all the ones in-between.

My goal for this weekend is to live in the moment.  To laugh when I think something is funny (no matter what), to cry if I feel sad or scared and to be angry if something makes me feel this way.  I am going to PLAY HARD with my little man.  I am going to focus on experiencing every minute with my family and friends.  I am going to ask questions and listen closely to the answers.  I am going to let myself be a little bit more vulnerable and really try to experience life like my son does.

To start, I am going to begin each day with a short meditation (there I put it in writing so I can’t skip it!) where I will ask for the strength to experience the day.  The strength to experience joy, LOVE and anything else this weekend has in store for me.

I hope each and every one of you has an amazing, safe and REAL weekend.

images*artist unknown

Lots of LOVE,


What do you mean by “Learning to LOVE”?

This question has come up to me over the past few days and I even asked myself the same questions when I wrote it down for the first time.

                           What do you mean by “Learning to LOVE”?

To clarify,  I am not learning how to LOVE my husband, my son, my family or my friends.  I LOVE them more than they will ever know.  

I am learning to LOVE everything else life has thrown at me.  I am learning to LOVE the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am learning to LOVE CANCER (what?? I know it sounds crazy…….but it is healing and already proving to be a game changer, even though I am still far from loving it).  

I am learning to LOVE my life, bumps and all.  Learning to LOVE myself and to put me first.  I have always been the type of person to give everything to others.  I seldom made decisions for me, took care of myself emotionally or gave me permission to be happy over others.  I am not saying that I have been unhappy nor am I saying that I want to change this completely but I believe that you have to do things for you too.  You have to take care of yourself and you have to make time for yourself.  A new friend Lisa recently told me that with cancer

everything depends on one’s attitude of love and acceptance of oneself.

Especially when it is breast cancer.  I was told that for me, becoming aware of the fact that I forgot about myself was key to releasing any hurt.  This really spoke to me and I think I knew deep down that this needed to happen.  I came up with the theme Learning to LOVE long before meeting Lisa, but I feel that what she told me was I need to learn to LOVE myself fully.  I also feel like she will be a big part of me learning to do so.

Remember that I welcome the opportunity to meet you or chat!  Please contact me here or comment below!

My Story…..

First off I would like to say thank you so much for reading/following my new blog!!  The scariest part of starting this blog for me was wondering if I truly had anything to say.  Anything that would interest people enough to take time out of their busy week to read.  So thank you for the emails, the comments (IF ANY) and for the encouragement.

Here is my story (or some of it anyhow).  I am just going to cover what has led me to today.  What has led me to starting this blog, to want to re-discover life and want to learn to love everything and everyone in it.

I am 30 years old, live in Red Deer, Alberta and have 2 very important men in my life.  My husband Chad and my son Sawyer are my whole world.  My goal is to make them smile, each and every day.

A year ago I was a very tired first time mom, struggling yet enjoying my time with Sawyer.  Sawyer was such a good little baby but he sure hated to sleep.  He never wanted to miss a thing.  I was planning on going back to work but decided to extend my maternity leave so that I could spend the summer with my little man instead of inside my office.  Little did I know that my summer would not go as planned.

Fast forward a month and I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Triple Negative Breast Cancer that had moved from the breast into the lymph nodes.  I can’t describe the feelings that came next.  I am not sure I have really let myself go there since it all happened.  At this point, it is easier letting it be a blur.  I do know I will have to address this to completely heal from it, and I will, but all in due time.

I knew nothing about breast cancer.  In hopes of a complete pathological response doctors wanted to start aggressive TAC chemotherapy as soon as possible to try and kill the cancer before surgery to make the surgery less invasive. My first initial thought was no way.  Get this cancer out of me NOW.  In my mind it needed to be removed.  After a few different people looked at it, and I had a short amount of time to digest it with my family, the consensus was to do chemotherapy first.

I am not going to focus on the details of everything that happened over the last year.  Maybe I will post on it later if the topics come up or if people are interested in learning some of what I experienced.  For today I will summarize:

6 Rounds of TAC chemotherapy.  The doctors stopped at 6 as it felt like the cancer was shrinking and responding favourably.

Double Masectomy with immediate reconstruction.  The pathology came back as a surprise to us all.  The cancer was still everywhere and 13 out of 14 lymph nodes were infected also.  The chemotherapy was not successful.  And worst yet…..they were fairly confident there was still cancer left.

Second Surgery to get clear margins on the breast.

Travel to Mayo Clinic in Arizona for another opinion.   They completely agreed with the treatment here and said they would have recommended the same.  The only thing different was they were able to give me some additional information on a couple alternative treatments that may be gaining some…………

PET scan shows that there is still cancer in the lymph nodes under my arm and now also in my chest wall.

30 Rounds of radiation treatment.

12 Rounds of Hyperthermia treatments with IV Curcumin Therapy. *I have been seeing a Natropath that focuses in Oncology in Calgary, AB through this whole process also.

2 weeks of much deserved family time in Mexico…..

And here we are!  I am currently waiting for my next scan to see what the story is and if the radiation was successful.  Today I am just doing whatever I can to stay healthy, strong and happy.  I am learning to be me again, learning what this new life looks like and learning how to LOVE.

xoxo Lyndsey


My Goal for this project “Learning to LOVE”

A conversation about life, love and learning to live…..

  • Just as the title says!  I want to learn to love all things in life.  Everything and everyone in it.
  • To help promote self healing by finding my voice and using it.
  • Possibly help someone else by sharing my story and my journey.
  • Stay on track and focused on my path (whatever it may look like).
  • Meet new people and have GREAT conversations!

Hello world!

Gabrielle Bernstein (you will learn quickly that I love, love, love her) talks about the Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age in a lot of her lectures.  One of these sutras is perfect for what I am experiencing today:

“When the time is on you….START! and the pressure will be off”.

I have been meaning to start this blog for months.  I keep thinking of ideas, writing notes and then closing the book for a few weeks.

There will always be reasons to put something off.  There will always be a to do list, a fear or a feeling of not enough time.  Today I am choosing to make time for this.  To make time for me and to make time to heal.

My name is Lyndsey Watt.  I am excited, scared and everything in between to be starting this blog.  I look forward to sharing my story with you and I can’t wait to hear about yours.  For those of you who already know me on a personal level, you know that I don’t share my feelings very often.  I tend to keep to myself, I am fairly reserved and I like to observe what is happening around me rather than be in the spotlight.  Today I want to challenge myself to be better.  I want to challenge myself to find my voice and to learn more about myself.  I want to start some new conversations with friends both old and new so that together we can grow, heal and learn.

So, as of today, I welcome you friends.  Old, new, near and far.  Welcome to Learning to LOVE.  I encourage you to introduce yourself, say hello and join in on any conversation that speaks to you over the coming days, weeks and months.

I will start off over the next couple of weeks by sharing my story, some of my goals and my future plans for this blog.  Until then…….

Lots of love,


Photo above taken by Jayme at The Paper Deer Photography