Today marks week 27 of pregnancy. My body (mostly my belly) seems to grow every day and I’m feeling it both physically and emotionally. There are the obvious physical changes like my size, posture shifting, heart burn, sore back and pelvic region…but then there are the more subtle and often unexpected emotional changes that occur. Preparing to be a mama, emotionally, is a daunting task. Its actually the most horrifying (yet gratifying I expect) venture I’ve ever taken up– summiting mountains, living and traveling in foreign countries, running ultras all seem rather tame in comparison to this parenting thing. Those things are temporary– you get to the top of a mountain, you complete an ultra, you finish your time in the new place (or you leave if it doesn’t work out). Parenting is a bit more permanent. No getting to the top, finishing the race, or moving on to the the next country/job/educational adventure.
This post is not about the emotional roller coaster I’m experiencing as I prepare to meet our baby in about 13 weeks (that’s really soon….) but rather about a recent article in the Huffington Post about plant based eating and cancer. What do my emotions about parenting and the article have to do with each other? Well for one, one of my tasks as a parent is to raise up a healthy, strong, compassionate, and happy person–and teaching them to eat a diet that reduces their risk of cancer (along with other diseases) is just one way to do that. Becoming a mom also makes me think of more about my own mortality. I’ve never by any means welcomed death. No, no…quite the contrary…and the one time I thought I might actually die (when we had to spend the night in the mountains in South Africa under a rock in the winter…and were approached by poachers in the middle of the night), I was fighting like mad along side Josh to ensure I didn’t die. However, the prospect of motherhood has made me even more grateful for life and my desire to live a long, healthy, joyful one has increased.
Thus, an article that quotes research stating that my dietary choices are “hugely” helpful against cancer is GREAT news. It also solidifies my belief that raising our son and any other future children on a plant based diet is just as important as teaching them to not run into the street without looking. Here are some tidbits from the article–but please do feel free to check it out in its entirety by clicking here. None of its really new information–The China Study pretty much dropped this bomb a while ago but I love how accessible this article is and how simply it lays it out.
- A 2012 analysis of all the of the best studies done to date concluded that vegetarians have significantly lower cancer rates than meat eaters.
- A new study at Loma Linda University reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat eaters and vegetarians–and the omnivores used in the study were healthy individuals eating less meat that the standard American diet.
- Women placed on a plant based diet for just 2 weeks were found to suppress the growth of 3 different types of breast cancer (that’s just two weeks–imagine what years or a lifetime could do!)
- The cancer promoting hormone IGF-1 is increased by animal proteins but eating a plant based diet significantly decreases IGF-1 found in the blood.
- pppsssspppp…eating a plant based diet also reduces our risk of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension! Excellent? I think so.