No one plans for life to throw them a major curveball. This is one woman’s story about championing her health and prioritizing her budget while healing from a breast cancer diagnosis. Today we talked specifically about food and nutrition!
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We talk a lot about saving money and eating healthy around here. What happens when life throws you a major curve-ball?
This looks different for all of us. Maybe it’s a foreclosure, a job loss, or bankruptcy. Maybe it’s something even more serious: a medical complication, a car accident, or a diagnosis.
A few years ago, my dear childhood friend, Jessie Fabling, received a surprising and heartbreaking diagnosis. At 30 years old, Jessie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She decided to tackle her diagnosis from all angles, working with a variety of doctors and professionals to fight the cancer and support her overall health in the process. Jessie eats an all-organic diet and juices regularly.
She’s also a waitress and nanny, living on a budget.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Jessie agreed to do a three-part interview just for the Cheapskate Cook audience! She’s a regular follower and a member of the Cheapskate Cooks Facebook Group.
We sat together for a couple of days, chatting, laughing, and crying.
One Breast Cancer Story in 3 Parts:
After our first talk about breast cancer in the context of saving money and eating healthy, Jessie and I discovered three major themes in her healing journey:
While working with professionals, Jessie is supporting her body the best she can with good food and nutrition. In our first interview, she shares her diagnosis story and the huge lifestyle change it prompted. We also get a peek into her grocery cart, what she eats on a daily basis, and how she learned what she should and shouldn’t be eating to support her body’s healing.
2. Rest & Stress
No surprise here: It turns out that rest is extremely important to Jessie’s healing journey! And the good news is that it is practically free. In the second interview, Jessie breaks down what rest looks like for her and how she manages that with two jobs and the stress that a diagnosis puts on one’s body. She shares how this is one of the most budget-friendly ways to support health and wellness.
3. Finances & Community
How do you afford something this weighty? Jessie shares the companies and ministries that supported her financially, and she talks about the importance of community and what that looks like for her.
If You Have Cancer:
(Or are walking through any traumatic, difficult situation)
If you have recently received a difficult diagnosis, or are walking through one, we want to support, empower, and encourage you.
We are not trained medical professionals (see the disclaimer). This is just one amazing woman sharing her story in the context of three big areas: food, rest, and budgeting.
Even if you don’t have cancer, Jessie shares a lot of information and perspective that you may find helpful. A few years ago, we received a very different diagnosis, and I still resounded with a lot of what she shared.
If You Know Someone Who Has Cancer
(Or is walking through any traumatic, difficult situation)
If you have a friend or family member who just received a difficult diagnosis, these interviews are for you. Jessie gives us deep insight into what it’s like navigating a diagnosis and how her community has supported her.
She also gets very real about what is NOT helpful and shares important boundaries and communication issues. If you wonder how you can support your friend or family member, listen closely to our third interview!
Where to Find Jessie:
If you would like to support her, visit her Go Fund Me page here!
Interview 1: Nutrition
One way that Jessie supports her body’s health and wellness is through food and nutrition. Jessie eats an all-organic, plant-based diet. She juices regularly and eats very little meat and animal products. In this interview, Jessie shares her initial diagnosis, those first few terrifying and confusing days. She breaks down why food is so important to her journey (she went to school for nutrition, so this is her passion!). And Jessie gives us a peek in her grocery cart, her favorite grocery stores, and what she eats in a day.
This was the longest interview BY FAR, because we shared both Jessie’s diagnosis story and nutrition journey. But every minute is packed with information and a powerful, intimate story that will encourage and challenge you.
NOTE: We don’t tackle a lot about budgeting in this video. Finances play a big part in our third interview (Resources and Community – video coming!).
Watch the video for the full interview. Below it, I share the cheat sheet so you can skip ahead to sections that you may find especially relevant.
- 1:48 – Jessie shares her diagnosis story
- 7:33 – A piece of advice Jessie received that changed everything
- 10:09 – The clinic Jessie chose for her primary care
- 13:12 – What Jessie eats now: “Making music with food”
- 26:13 – How Jessie figured out what her body did and didn’t need, food-wise
- 32:42 – What Jessie eats in a day
- 44:00 – Making something delicious with what you have
- 46:35 – Jessie talk about her “Taste & See” Facebook Page
- 53:13 – What Jessie’s grocery cart looks like
- 57:29 – Jessie’s favorite grocery stores
- 59:45 – Shout out to @thefarmstand.bumpass!
- 1:00:17 – A message from Jessie to the person who has just been diagnosed or is just starting to focus on nutrition with a diagnosis
- 1:04:36 – A message from Jessie to the person whose loved one has been diagnosed: This is how you can help. And this is what NOT to do.
- 1:19:33 – Wrap up and hint at the next interview!
What You Can Do Now:
If this interview resonated with you, tell us what you think below! (Please remember that Jessie is undergoing numerous therapies and working with many qualified professionals to heal her diagnosis. We are not saying that only food will heal anyone.)
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