Roasted Butternut & Arugula with Peach Rosemary Dressing

Butternut Squash & Arugula SaladPOWER POSSE POST BY SUZANNE HENDRIKS

I love meeting new people. And, when I meet them? I know that there is no thought in their mind that I battled with a life threatening disease.

10 years ago, I was an energy filled, saucy university student who happened to go to the doctor for a stomach ache – only to be diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in my liver two weeks later – a 7cm tumor at that! 5 weeks following my diagnosis, I had lost 30lbs, my stomach was swollen out to the size of a 6 month pregnant woman and I had become so jaundice that my skin was green.

My first appointment with the oncologist ended with a bone marrow test (ouch!) and I was admitted to the hospital immediately to start chemotherapy treatments.

After 4 rounds of chemotherapy, my tumor was almost completely gone which ended up cutting my initial prescribed 8 treatments down to 6.

From the beginning of my cancer experience, I used my mind as a powerful tool to manage my pain and kill the cancer that had overwhelmed my body. I would literally say in my head “die cancer, die” for hours during treatments and any time I was in a large amount of pain. The combination of Western medicine and the power of positive meditation helped me combat this disease.

For the first 5 years after treatment, I was watched very closely by my doctors for any signs that the disease had returned. Once I passed that point, I was allowed to go back to receiving one thorough physical, once a year. This October, I will be celebrating 10 years without cancer!

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I work hard everyday to prevent disease, mostly through what I put in my mouth and on my body.

Here are 5 tips that I use daily that give me the strength to keep kicking cancer to the curb, long term.

5 Tips To Prevent Disease Daily

1. Reduce inflammation in your body.

It took me a while to learn how to do this and really came into play about 4 1/2 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with an acute form of arthritis along with Crohn’s disease. We shifted to a diet free of refined sugars, gluten & processed foods to reduce inflammation (which causes disease) in our bodies. Not only have I been in remission for almost 10 years, my husband’s most recent colonoscopy shows no sign of disease. Consider an elimination diet with the guided help of a nutrition educator like Leanne or a naturopath.

2. Find time for daily meditation.

Not everyone has time for an hour yoga or meditation class every day, but everyone has 5 minutes to donate to their health. Try the free Calm app that has 2, 5 and 10 minute guided meditations. A few minutes of meditation can help you stay connected to your body and help recognize signs of disease.

3. Move your cute booty every day.

With one child and a second on the way, I have to find more creative ways to get my booty moving like running 30 minutes to work instead of taking the bus, walking to the grocery store with child in stroller and taking the long route home with the load of food. All of these small things can get your heart rate up and build your muscles, which in turn, builds a strong immune system to prevent disease.

4. Switch to more natural beauty products.

Coconut oil, baking soda, raw apple cider vinegar & avocado are at the base of all of my homemade beauty products. DIY products can be more cost effective then buying from the store and eliminates harsh chemicals that cause diseases (like cancer).

5. Be passionate about your optimum health!

If you don’t give a crap, your body won’t give a crap. This is the only body you get – your sanctuary. So own it. Maintain it and have fun doing so!

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Roasted Butternut & Arugula with Peach Rosemary Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegan (option), Gluten-free, Dairy-free (option), Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A chilled, roasted butternut squash salad with goat cheese, toasted almonds and arugula in a homemade peach and rosemary dressing.
Ingredients
Salad
  • ½ of a medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed & sliced into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 oz. goat cheese *see note
Dressing
  • ½ ripe peach, skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary, leaves taken off branch
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sliced butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Bake in preheated oven about 30-40mins. Set aside and let cool. This step can be done the night before.
  3. In a salad bowl, combine arugula, toasted almonds & cooked butternut squash.
  4. In blender or food processor, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth.
  5. Toss salad lightly in dressing. Sprinkle with goat cheese (or vegan Parmesan cheese) and serve immediately.
Notes
For a vegan/dairy-free alternative, try Leanne's Shaved Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)

How about you? Have you every struggled with disease and found a way to prevent it from coming back?

I would love to hear your daily preventative tips in the comments below!

Suzanne HendriksAuthor bio: Suzanne Hendriks is a native of Ontario who recently moved to the West Coast of Canada with her husband and three year old son. Suzanne can be found hiking in the mountains, swimming in the ocean and going crazy in the kitchen! She has a passion for creating clean-eating treats that will leave you feeling guilt-free and shares her recipes on her blog Roll With It.

 

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Hi Suzanne! Was looking for a Butternut Squash recipe and knew Roll with It was a great place to look. Wanted you to know that Tim decided to eat only whole foods and vegan in May, and has not looked back. This was inspired especially by the documentary Forks over Knives. His cholesterol has dropped by 15 points, and he looks great. Easy to get stuck on a few recipes, so I am trying to stretch him out. Check out the 2-Ingredient Oatmeal Banana cookies on the Ambitious Kitchen blog!

  2. Hi Suzanne!

    Such a great post! Congrats of 10 years of being cancer free!
    I’ve used the same tips you’ve listed above on my journey to good health. Reducing inflammation was key for me as well. I’m a pastry chef, so sugar was my nemesis when it was time to eliminate inflammatory foods. A few years without it and now I crave green juice more than cookies!

    Thanks for sharing the calm app info as well. Such a great find!

    Wishing you continued good health!

    • That’s great Jennifer! I’m so glad you found something to keep your body in great health!

      Enjoy the Calm app – I love it and I am thinking I might even use it during labor with my second child (a blessing to get pregnant after treatment!).

      Wishing you continued good health as well!

  3. Hi Suzanne!! Thanks so much for sharing your story, and congrats on your 10-year cancer free anniversary in October! I love your tips, especially the ones about reducing inflammation and meditation. The Calm app is one of my all-time faves!

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