by Katrina Beede Nguyen
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates
The power of mother nature, I believe she provided us living beings with all that our bodies need to have energy, reproduce, and heal our immune system. Therefore making us a warrior in fighting disease and giving our bodies the capacity to heal.
I used this belief to help assist my body in getting both my Crohns disease and Cervical Cancer into remission.
Filling your plate with a variety of colors and plant based foods gives your cells the nutrients and energy they need to do there job properly. I created this recipe with that in mind. It is full of cancer fighting plants and drizzled in a miso ginger dressing that is great at helping with nausea, a common symptom we get when our body is out of balance.
My Cancer Story:
In 2017, I started noticing symptoms of nausea and pain in my abdomen returning. Being that I was diagnosed with Severe Crohns Disease in 2015, I assumed I was going into another flare. I had several appointments and scans with my GI all that showed no inflammation within my intestinal tract. Early in 2018 I went into see my GI Dr again with severe pain and nausea, however this time I was sure it was not my Crohns. He said he was sure it was my small bowel closing again. I was not convinced, it just didn’t feel right to me. He ordered a test to be done in a few weeks. I came home and turned to my learning of nutrition and how it had helped me heal from my Crohns surgery in 2015. I decided to go on a 21 day plant based cleanse. Within 2 weeks my energy was up, and my pain had started to decrease SO much that I ended up canceling the small bowel test. In April of 2018 I went in for my overdue annual exam. My paps came back abnormal showing high grade dysplasia. So I rescheduled for a colposcopy a month later. This time was different though. I started putting the dots together. I had actually finally gotten around to booking my annual because I wanted to have my Mirena removed. I had read the side effects and it seemed that that could possibly be causing the cramps, bleeding and nausea. My OBGYN stated that wasn’t a smart idea due to my history and high risk surgery status.
I started thinking about the drug I was on for my Crohns disease and how it was an immunosuppressant. So the first question I asked when I went in for my Colposcopy was, “Could my Humira be making my HPV flare up worse?”
Her immediate response was, “Yes absolutely. Unfortunately we take one thing to help with one disease and it lowers our ability to fight another.” I made it my mindset right then to get off Humira and find another way to heal.
During the exam I knew something wasn’t right. She couldn’t get a sample of my cervix and I could tell she was worried. At one point she said, “girl you have a cervix of steal!” I jokingly replied back, “Yes I do a lot of squats,” trying to take my mind out of wondering about what she was seeing under the sheet. Two days later she called to let me know that the cells she took had come back precancerous, but she had a feeling there was something deeper and wanted me to see an oncologist.
So in June I was sent to meet with a Gynecologist Oncologist. He said he wasn’t sure why I was there and was convinced it was only precancer. However, he decided to do a LEEP procedure in the hospital so he could remove a good amount of my cervix.
In July, just 4 days after the procedure I received the phone call… “you have cancer.”
He said there was a tumor deep in my cervix as well as suspicion in my lymph nodes. I was devastated. I had been a health coach for the past year and a half and could not wrap my head around this news. I went through all the emotions starting with anger, frustration, sadness and fear.
In August 2018, after traveling to Mexico with my husband, daughter and son, before I was to start my cancer treatments I came home and went into a very terrible Crohns flare. I lost 25 lbs within a week and became so weak. I lost my ability to walk, my eyesight became blurry and I spun into the darkest depression ever.
I tried to Juice what I could and sipped on soup and my superfood smoothie which was one of the only things I could keep down most the time. After 6 weeks of not getting out of bed, and running from what was supposed to be a surgery for a radical hysterectomy. Literally I checked into the hospital went into pre-opp and had a panic attack and ran out of the hospital… My Dr said this was the first time anyone had ever actually showed up and not gone through with it.
I made an appointment with my acupuncturist. She had helped me get out of a flare a few years before and I knew I needed her energy work. I knew I needed to heal emotionally so I could start to heal physically. My first visit she left me on the table for 2 1/2 hours. When I came out my mom said when can she come back and made me an appointment every day for the next week. This was incredible because my mom wasn’t sure what to think when I told I wanted to see my energy healer… She said whatever she did shifted you and we are coming back tomorrow!
As I slowly regained a little energy I was able to meditate on my movement that I missed so much and see myself healthy and strong. I was able to comfort the scared girl inside. Slowly I was able to move into gentle yoga and start eating a little more. I was still sleeping a ton which I’m sure was my bodies way of saying let me heal. In October I finally felt ok with the surgery they had recommended, I felt strong enough to continue both physically and mentally and had a radical hysterectomy and lymph nodes removed from my pelvis.
A week later I received a call that all tumors were gone. Pathology had come back completely clear. No Evidence of Disease. When I asked where they went, my oncologist stated that either the first test were wrong, but most likely my body had healed itself. Either way I was not going to need any radiation or chemo. I asked him to say one more time that MY body had healed itself, my immune system had taken care of it! Just 4 months post the darkest most challenging battle I have ever endured in my 41 years on this planet and I am feeling the strongest, most balanced I have ever felt. I continue to eat a organic plant based diet, practice awareness, mediation, attend therapy sessions weekly, and am back in the gym helping others become the strongest version of themselves. It is hard for me to explain in words the feelings I feel coming on this journey, and the lessons I have learned of just how incredible our minds and bodies are. My mission is to continue to learn and grow with in myself so I can share this message with many others and help guide them in their own journey.
In Health and Love,
Katrina Beede Nguyen
Founder of Development Lifestyle,
Helping women fuel their strength through movement, nutrition, mindset and community,
Follow me on Instagram @katrinabeedenguyen
STILL LOOKING FOR A GIFT TO SUPPORT SOMEONE BATTLING CANCER? SHOP