Choosing Courage Over Comfort…

I have had so many conversations lately with moms and dads who have been inspired by our story and the healthy changes we have made, and yet get so frustrated that they feel they’re not doing enough. And I certainly hope that it’s not due to the fact that you think WE have it all together.  That I put healthy, nutrient-dense foods in front of my family and they smile from ear to ear and gobble it up with joy.  Because truly…that’s far from the case.  So here’s a little dose of reality that I hope will encourage you to keep on keepin’ on!

When my little Dani was diagnosed with high risk ALL, I was blessed to quickly be connected with, my girl Season Johnson who had started the journey with her son, Kicker just a month earlier. I was a nutrition teacher by trade but didn’t have nearly the tools in my toolbox as Season did. And the ones I did have were pretty lame (think traditional food pyramid…or plate…or whatever it is now 😁). She enlightened me in ways I will never be able to truly thank her for and our entire family is soooooo much healthier for it!

But I will say…in all honesty…it’s definitely been hard at times.  Like really, really hard.  My kids didn’t grow up eating kale and salmon and kefir. They STILL give me guff about anything green on their plate. I mean, we came from a place of me thinking I was a freaking ROCKSTAR that our PB&Js were made with whole grain bread and our mac and cheese was the organic brand. 😁.

So for the group of you who also started this from a similar place, who still want ways to make changes in your family, who feel discouraged at times because serving Brussels sprouts at dinner will literally induce tears…I FEEL YOUR PAIN! And know what? It can totally suck sometimes! Like TOTALLY! But finding the COURAGE to push through the frustration, to be consistent, and to not give up are some of the bravest and most admirable moves you can make…and I believe they are imperative for success.

So stay steadfast in your WHY and take baby steps. The changes in our family did NOT happen overnight and we we still struggle at times. My suggestion? (Assuming you don’t have a huge and overbearing health condition that requires an abrupt overhaul.)  GO SLOW!  Make ONE change per week.  Start with ONE meal at a time.  Find what works…but don’t give up on what doesn’t work right away.  Find balance and choose your battles.  Do they literally puke over Brussels sprouts?  Then take it down a notch and start with green beans or broccoli and sauté them with bacon or melt a little cheese on top because you KNOW they like bacon and cheese!

And when it gets hard…like really, really, really hard…I think of my Dani.  She’s had no choice in this.  She deserves the best.  She deserves to thrive not just during her treatment, but for a lifetime afterwards.  And I know for a fact that food we put in her body can either be full of nutrients to help rebuild it as the meds are tearing it down…or full of synthetic and inflammatory toxins that will give her little body even more to process and therefore contribute to the damage that’s already being done though the treatment.

I definitely do not have all the answers for how to make this work…but what I DO know for sure, is that we’re doing a hell of a lot better than we were before. That my daughter has absolutely thrived throughout the almost 2 years now of her high risk treatment. And that the rest of my family is better off because I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone, deal with the arguments from my kids, fight through my own frustration, and press on despite pressure from naysayers that say “it doesn’t really matter anyway”.

So keep your head up and fight on! What you’re doing is admirable, important, and IT MATTERS!!!  And one day, mark my words, your children will thank you for caring enough about them to choose what my Dani has had no choice but to do for the past two years…



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