THE BLOG
10/08/2013 06:42 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Organic Life Post-Treatment

I've learned many things post-cancer. Some things I've been doing right, but there are some of the things I've been doing have been wrong this whole time.

Recently, I met someone who is very inspirational in regard to food. Some people don't understand the importance of food in the cancer world -- whether you're a patient or a survivor. During my treatment, I tried my best to stick to a strict diet of local produce and unprocessed foods. My mom would go to the farmer's market in town every week and pick up things for me to stock my fridge with. I thought I was making the right choices. Recently, with talk of "organic" coming up in many conversations, I have started to question my past choices. In doing more research, I have learned how important it is to eat local, organic produce -- not only as a cancer survivor -- it is important for everyone. My co-worker, Kristen, is that person who has been an inspiration to me. She is very passionate about food rights and the healing powers of food. She is also the coordinator of the Organic Community Garden at the Joliet Park District, where I am employed.

Since I get to work beside her every day, she has had the pleasure of answering all of my questions- where to shop, what to eat, how to juice, et cetera, et cetera. It wasn't until I started working at the Joliet Park District that I was introduced to the Organic Community Garden. At first, I thought it was a "cool concept" but after learning more and more about it- I realize how important it is to my community, but most of all, my health. As a cancer survivor, I'm always thinking about my health. I'm not perfect, but I try to be very conscious of what I put into my body. In learning that I have the option to have my own organic plot (I live in an apartment with NO yard), things have really changed and opened my eyes. I'm not saying that I'll be perfectly healthy for the rest of my life by eating organic and limiting processed foods -- but I have read the facts, and I do know that in my recent switch to a healthier way of looking at produce, I feel better then I ever have. This garden has become quite near and dear to me. I feel so lucky that I get to work for a company that gives the community such a great and crucial addition. I highly recommend researching your community options and seeing if this is something that is offered. After battling cancer once, I never want to go through that, and I certainly do not want my loved ones having to ever experience that. I know some things are out of my control, but I am going to do my best to keep myself healthy. Check out my local Organic Community Garden. at the Joliet Park District.

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