It is the moment that changed my life forever.
It is why I am here today. It is why you are reading my story. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Melanoma when I was pregnant with my first child. Stunned doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt. I couldn’t grasp how someone who looked as healthy as I did could be “sick”. Turns out, my view of “healthy” was not real health. I was doing everything for the outside appearance but didn’t truly understand the harmful effects of the food I was putting into my body. As I was trying to make sense of my diagnosis, my brother (the wellness physician) pointed out that taking the bun off of a drive-thru hamburger was not as healthy as I thought. He also informed me that using fat free artificial spray butter on farm raised fish wasn’t the healthiest choice. I realized I was basically putting fake food and artificial ingredients into my body and not giving my cells anything to build upon. Our cells regenerate by the foods that we put into our body. If we put clean, whole foods into our bodies, our system will thrive and function properly and we will become stronger and healthier. That was the beginning of my 360 shift.
First, I needed to save my family.
I had a few options: They could cut out the cancer but, because I was pregnant, they couldn’t use anesthetic. Chemotherapy was an option but I would most likely lose the baby. Or I could wait it out and hope it didn’t spread to the baby and take over my body. Those are scary options no matter how old you are or who you are. I chose surgery. Then I got back to the business of learning to be really healthy.
I challenged myself for 30 days. I took one week at a time to focus on household products, beauty products and food. Then I took inventory of all the things that were stressing me out and realized how we handle stress has a huge impact on our health! Small simple steps is all it takes. I changed my life literally one day at a time.
Have I done it perfectly every day for the past 10 years? Of course not. I make mistakes every day. But I am determined to educate my two girls on real health. Knowledge is power.
Now I can say I am truly healthy…
and I want you to be too.
A bit about Brooke’s credentials: Brooke graduated from Elon University with a B.S. in Business Administration. She is a Certified Nutritional Consultant in holistic nutrition from the Global College of Natural Medicine and a Healthy Hands Cooking Certified Instructor for school aged children. Brooke is a regular monthly contributor to the NBC Charlotte Today Show. She has done speaking engagements on healthy living for large corporations, hospitals and schools. Brooke is the author of the Thankful 30 Recipe Guides.