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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"L" is also for Lemons

It's a proven fact that cancer cells thrive in an acidic, dehydrated body.

A simple way to combat this is to start your day or afternoon with a cup of hot water with half a lemon or lime squeezed into it.

Voila- hydration and acidity problem solved.

If you are wondering what your pH level is at, meaning if your are acidic or alkaline, you can buy litmus paper at your local health food store and either run it inside your mouth to mix with your saliva or urinate on it. The resulting colour on the litmus paper will tell you what you are.

I'll put money on it that you're too acidic, especially if you eat red meats,drink  alcohol, smoke or are stressed to the max. Only one of the four will get you there.

Check out this website to learn more about your pH levels and what you can do to keep it in the alkaline zone.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"L" is for Legumes

Healthy eating is an important piece of the breast cancer prevention puzzle. Through good nutrition you can keep your weight down, utilize cancer fighting nutrients and turbo-charge your immune system.
Having a plant-based rather than meat-based diet is a first step in giving your body a leg-up to fight cancers. This includes a stable diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes.
 Legumes include beans, lentils, and peas. Just like whole grains, legumes are a great source of fiber and phytochemicals. Another benefit is that they contain higher levels of protein than other plant foods so you can substitute them for the meat in your diet once in awhile. Give your body a break and it will thank you in ways you may not see, but will definitely feel.

The seriously misunderstood bean has been a staple of the human diet for many thousands 
of years, and a major source of high quality, inexpensive protein, combined with other foods. 
There are hundreds of varieties of beans and lentils available, with a corresponding range of 
tastes and nutritional qualities. Beans are adaptable to an immense number of delicious 
vegetarian recipes. 

We can minimize the production of gas from eating beans by breaking down the fiber in them 
before eating. Mashing or grinding will work, as in Refried Beans, or Hummus.  We can also 
minimize gas from beans by soaking and cooking them well, eating them in combination with 
other foods, not eating excessive amounts, and chewing them well.

In Bulgaria they soak their beans overnight and discard the water in the morning. Bring the beans to boil in fresh water for ten minutes, then drain and repeat with fresh water. Repeat once more and cook until done.

Also, always rinse canned beans well before adding to any recipe.
Both tips will cut down the gas immensely.

But comparison to cancer, what's a little butt backfire going to hurt?

"L" is for Lumps


Regarding Breast lumps: Early evaluation is ESSENTIAL. It Can Save Your Life or at the very least, your Breast.

The earlier a cancerous lump is dealt with the greater a woman’s chance of surviving the ordeal becomes. The key is to catch it before it spreads or metastasizes to other parts of your body.
The first noticeable symptom of breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue. More than 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump. Lumps found in lymph nodes located in the armpits can also indicate breast cancer — but take comfort in the odds. As many as 4 out of 5 breast lumps that are biopsied are noncancerous (benign). Still, it's important to have any breast lump evaluated by a doctor.
The hard part is breast tissue is naturally lumpy. You need to familiarize yourself with your normal breast tissue NOW to help determine if there's a change in your breasts. Consult your doctor if:
·         You find a breast lump that's new or unusual and feels different from breast tissue in either breast
·         A new breast lump doesn't go away after your next period
·         A breast lump seems to have changed — it gets bigger, for instance
·         You have bloody discharge from your nipple
·         You notice skin changes on your breast, such as redness, crusting, dimpling or puckering
·         Your nipple suddenly turns inward (inversion)

Those are the facts. Now here's my story:
For two years we monitored a hard pea shape in my left breast found during self-examination.After a series of mammograms, ultra sounds and ultimately an MRI,  it turned out to be benign, but due to all the tests, cancer was found in my right breast. And in a lymph node. The good news is it was caught early and both growths were very small. I still have enough breast on the surgery side to fill a bra cup.
No-one knows your body better than you do. Take some time for yourself and get better acquainted with your breasts.

Reputable sites to learn more about self-examination or about breasts in general:

Support Sites
  • Circus of Cancer - A site to help you when your friend has Breast Cancer

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    K” is for Knowledge and Kelp

    Ever heard the saying Knowledge is power? Well, when it comes to cancer, knowing more than less is key to prevention. Knowing before you stuff something into your body that it is bad for you is a start. It gets confusing but I’m convinced that our diet is a major element when cancer comes knocking. You need to know how to keep that door firmly closed!

    Getting more information on cancer is as easy as going to the Canadian Cancer Society’s website at :  Check out the Canadian Cancer dictionary at:
    You can always Google everything, but you don’t always get the most accurate or up-to-date information. Make sure the site you’re learning from is a reputable one.

    My bible during breast cancer was Breast Cancer : All You Need To Know by DR.s Olivotto, Gelmon and Kuusk. I also loved the Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr. Check it out at

    Dr. Robert A. Pendergrast Jr.’s self-help book for women, “Breast Cancer – Reduce Your Risk with Foods You Love,” is another good one. 

    David Wolfe’s SuperFoods about diet and medicines of the future changed my world of cooking and eating. It's where I first heard about butter and other animal fats being substituted by coconut oil. Resembling lard, coconut oil starts my stir frys, is the butter in my baking and it makes a super, worry-free grilled cheese sandwich!

     You can also head to the book store and its Health section. You will be floored at what’s available for you to arm yourself against cancer. All the Cancer Societies have libraries you can borrow from as well.

    So, get out there and get educated everyone, before you have to bypass the prevention section and go to the What To Do When…section.


    I call it the “lettuce of the sea.” Yes, it’s seaweed but it is packed with more vitamins and minerals than most the things we imbibe, making it another SuperFood. I could list it’s attributes for pages, but so not to bore you, will stick to the biggest one:

    Phytochemicals. A recent buzz word in the world of cancer because phytos absorb and eliminate radioactive elements and heavy metal contaminations from our bodies, while kelp also gives us plenty of healthy minerals.

    Use it as a seasoning substitute for salt. Put some in your soups and stews . Eat it plain or buy it in a powdered concentrate. I use a “Greens Concentrate” available at some drug stores  and most Health Food Stores. I mix a teaspoon in with a half cup of cold almond milk and throw it back.

    Being from New Brunswick, I admit I like the sea smell. It reminds me  of home, which is always calming- and that in itself is a cancer prevention factor!

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    "J" is For Jicama in The Alphabetical Cancer Prevention Blogs


    Jicama has finally arrived at the likes of our local grocery store. It looks like a turnip and like a turnip or potato jicama can be baked, french-fried in the oven and mashed, although the tough outer skin should be removed first.

    Health benefits of Jicama

    • Jicama is very low calorie root vegetables; contains only 35 calories per 100 g. However, its high quality phyto-nutrition profile comprises of dietary fiber, and anti-oxidants, in addition to small proportions of minerals, and vitamins.
    • It is one of the finest source dietary fiber and excellent source of oligofructose inulin, a soluble dietary fiber. The root pulp provides 4.9 mg or 13% of fiber. Inulin is a zero calorie, sweet inert carbohydrate and does not metabolize in the human body, which make the root an ideal sweet snack for diabetics and dieters.
    • As in turnips, fresh yam bean tubers are rich in vitamin C; provide about 20.2 mg or 34% of DRA of vitamin C per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant that helps body scavenge harmful free radicals, thereby offers protection from cancers, inflammation and viral cough and cold.
    • It also contains small levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamin.
    • Further, it provides healthy amounts of some important minerals like magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.

    "J" is For Juicing

    While searching for more info on juicing, I found this website :

    and decided to copy and paste it. It had everything I wanted to know about juicing. Personally, I don't do it and have no intentions on ever doing it. But there are people that swear by the benefits of juicing. I'd rather pick up an apple or red pepper and it it straight up. Less mess to clean up!

    What are the pros and cons of juicing to help get rid of my cancer? Everyone seems to be doing it.

    Juicing has become popular in recent years probably due to the fact that it makes for an additional way to get more fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. Juicing as prevention and a treatment for cancer has also gained popularity. However, when looking at the pros and cons of juicing, I would recommend caution when evaluating some of the claims you may see about cancer cures, many of which are unsubstantiated (1).

    The current trend in juicing is actually inspired by an older diet known as the Gerson Diet. A German physician Max Gerson developed this diet, which is one of the many anti-cancer diets promoted to cancer patients. The Gerson Diet requires patients to eat a mainly raw vegetarian diet and to consume freshly prepared vegetable and fruit juices every hour. This diet consists of several other key elements and is more extreme than most juicing plans, but it is the inspiration for many of those on the market today (2).

    Many of the proponents of juicing claim that raw foods are superior to cooked or processed foods because they contain active enzymes (2). In addition, an article on (3) claims juicing removes indigestible fiber from fruits and vegetables and allows more of the cancer-fighting phytochemicals found in plants to be assimilated into the body.

    Opinions on the possible benefits from consuming the enzymes from raw foods are polarized. According to Stephen Barrett, MD (4), “the enzymes in plants help regulate the metabolic function of plants. When ingested, they do not act as enzymes within the human body.” In contrast, Gabriel Cousens, MD (5) believes raw food enzymes do have beneficial health results and summarizes his interpretation of available research. However, no research cited on that web site is specific to cancer treatment benefits.

    Phytochemicals are the subject of much research due to potential anti-cancer properties they possess. McEligot and colleagues (6) show evidence that including 16 ounces. of vegetable juice in a daily diet can increase the concentration of cancer-fighting phytochemicals in the body. Their research looked at blood concentrations of the phytochemicals alpha-carotene and lutein in female breast cancer patients, demonstrating higher levels in the women who consumed the vegetable juice compared to those who consumed only the raw and cooked vegetables.
    Pierce et al (7) are conducting a large study in non-metastatic breast cancer patients in which dietary changes are being evaluated for their possible role in reducing risk of cancer recurrence. The Women Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Study does include 16 ounces of vegetable juice each day. However, it is important to note that the consumption of vegetable juice is simply one component of a very healthy diet designed to optimize the intake of many foods that may be beneficial in treating cancer.

    I would raise one caution with regard to juicing. Juices made predominantly from fruits, and some vegetables such as carrots, are higher in sugars than juices made mostly from vegetables. When blood sugar rises, insulin levels rise along with other insulin-like growth factors. Considerable research is currently evaluating the role that insulin and insulin-like growth factors play in causing, promoting, and affecting the outcome of a cancer diagnosis.

    One research group has found an association between higher consumption of sweet foods and increased breast cancer risk (8). Fruit juices made by discarding the peeling and pulp have a more rapid absorption of the sugar, which will increase the body's insulin response. I suggest limiting the potential added risk associated with a consistent high sugar intake by either of these recommendations:

    1. Avoid regular consumption of clear fruit juices or,
    2. Use a type of juicer that leaves the pulp and peel in the juice as increased fiber content slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

    On this website you can find several soy shake recipes that contain three servings of fruits and vegetables and use many whole foods, thus retaining the entire fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals.

    Science continues to support the relationship between eating more fruits and vegetables and a reduced risk for cancer in addition to reducing the risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases (1, 9, 10, 11). Though unsubstantiated as an effective isolated treatment for cancer, juicing may act as an adjunct to conventional cancer treatment by providing an easier way for some patients to consume vegetables and fruits, which are a valuable component of a balanced diet.

    Juicing does provide an additional way to increase the number of fruit and vegetable servings one gets in a day. If you leave the pulp in the juice you still get the fiber as well. It can add variety to your diet and may make some vegetables and fruits that you don’t particularly like more palatable. Some of the common side effects that occur during cancer treatment, such as a sore or dry mouth, altered sense of taste and smell, lack of appetite, and nausea can all make it difficult to eat some solid foods, while foods that have been juiced may be tolerated easier.

    Just remember that juicing is only one aspect of an optimal approach for both preventing and treating cancer. I strongly urge every cancer patient to proactively seek the professional expertise of the Registered Dietitian at their cancer center, clinic, or oncologist's office for a individualized nutritional assessment plus diet and lifestyle plan in order to optimize your comprehensive cancer care.

    I'll second that motion!