One of my least favorite questions in life has always been, “Where do you see yourself in five years?  Ten years?”  You know, that cliché question every interviewer feels they have to ask, in order to really understand the level of your ambition.  That’s fine, I get it.  I don’t disagree that the varieties of answers do say a lot about people’s goals.  I’ve never had an issue with dreaming big, setting high goals, stepping outside my comfort zone – sometimes I feel a bit too comfortable outside my comfort zone, as someone who bores easily.  The main reason I’ve always disliked that question is because I was thinking, “Where do I start?  The sky is the limit!  I want to experience all of it!”

Cut to 2016 and three-ish years into my own personal health revolution.  Now, when I’m asked that question, I have a completely different answer.  My answer is simple, “I see myself healthy, relaxed and hopefully feeling even better than I do right now.”  At the end of the day, our health (both mental and physical) is the only thing that matters and is the only thing we can really control.  When I had my epiphany one day, during my research for holistic cancer remedies for my dog, Nola, I realized you really can choose to be healthy.  Isn’t that thought EMPOWERING?  Your future-self sure thinks so.

When my precious girl was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right front leg, my revolution began.  I learned so much from her during that time.  I learned to live in the moment, pray, meditate and most of all, EAT HEALTHY.  For the love of all that is pure and natural, please eat healthy food, because being sick sucks.  Cancer, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, heart disease, dementia…ALL OF IT is preventable with proper nutrition and it is all so much easier to prevent than it is to fight.

So, now I’m asking you that cliché question. When you look at yourself in five or ten years, what do you see?  If you don’t like the image, change it.  Stop making excuses like, “High blood pressure runs in my family, so diet change isn’t going to help.” Sorry, but that is bullshit.  You know what is typically hereditary?  A poor diet…diet gets passed down through generations.  So break the chain and empower yourself and your family – make sure family includes your pets too!  They age much faster than we do and need even more attention paid to their diets throughout their lifetime – canine and feline cancer is more common now than ever before, because of cheap, unhealthy ingredients in our pet food, much like all of our highly processed human diets.

I invite you to make a life-style change today, right now, and take back your life.  Don’t know where to start? Start by cooking real food that doesn’t have a shelf-life and check out my blog on simple ingredients to include into your (and your pets!) diets to prevent cancer and other diseases.  Take a vegan cooking class – even if you have no intention to become vegan or vegetarian.  It’s a great way to learn about using food as medicine and how simple tweaks made to your diet can have a huge impact on your overall health.  For instance, did you know you can use avocado in place of butter for baking any recipe – substituted 1:1 – and it will work the same?  Avocado is nature’s butter, but it’s also a very healthy fat that nourishes our body and brain and helps to prevent dementia and heart disease. (Avocado is NOT safe for dogs, however, so save that one for your human family members).  Organic, unrefined coconut oil is another healthy fat that IS safe for all pets and should be added to their meals as well as replace all of your other cooking oils.

Educate yourself on why we are all fighting so hard these days to ban GMOs from our food supply, which are being directly linked to many cancers.  Learn more about eliminating toxins from your everyday household items – my friend Heidi Straub (Health Insite by Heidi Straub) holds classes on this topic.  You can follow her on Facebook too, where she shares a lot of valuable information about the harmful ingredients to look for and how to read your labels.  Lastly, try picking the furthest parking spot in the lot, or take the dog for a walk as a family.  Small changes will snowball into huge results…I promise.

Wondering how to get your family on board? Reach out to a health coach, like my friend Dawn Parker, who specializes in integrating a healthy lifestyle into your entire family’s lives and has written an entire cook book on healthy chocolate recipes,  The Healthy Chocoholic.  Your kids will think you have lost your mind, encouraging them to eat more chocolate as part of a healthy diet!  I guess I will also include a shameless plug of my own book, My Dog Has Cancer. What Can I Do?, which is a great resource for cancer prevention for your entire family – pets and humans.

Good luck!  I have faith in you!  I can see your future-self now, kicking ass and taking names!