Hello, and welcome to Mainly Greens! Thank you for stopping by and visiting my site. My name is Traci Calkins. I’m a wife, mom of 3, and a health coach. While I have been a wife and mom for many years, I wasn’t always a health coach and in fact I never even considered going down this path until I suffered a major health crisis. Through trial and error, I was utterly amazed at how my body responded when I started giving it what it needed to heal itself. This made me eager to learn more. I am now a graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. I have a passion for feeling great and having energy to do the things I love.
The proof is in the pudding so to speak. I have my own research and development lab with myself as the main subject, along with my kids and husband. Our goal is to stay as healthy as we can. We are living in a world that makes it very easy to turn away from health without even knowing it.
Like many of you, I think if you reflect back on the big moments in your life you can see how those moments help mold our future for the better or worse. For me, I can now clearly see that I had a significant event that caused me to pivot in a completely new direction. My big pivot happened in February 2015 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer right after my 40th birthday. I didn’t see it at the time, but it ended up being one of those events that changed the course for me and my family for the better. Yes, I said better, but it didn’t feel like that at first.
After hearing those devastating words….”you have cancer”, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. It rocked my world more than I can put into words. I immediately felt like it was a death sentence in which I didn’t know how much time I had left. Memories of my childhood came rushing in and I felt like history was about to repeat itself. My dad passed away when I was 3 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and left my mom a single parent of 3 young girls. My girls were 3, 4 and 6 years old when I was diagnosed. Fast forward 37 years and I felt like I was in the same boat my mom, was except leaving my husband behind to raise our girls. There were a million things going through my mind and none of them good. To say those early days following my diagnosis were the dark days is an understatement. My fast-paced life came to a screeching halt.
In March 2015, I started down the path of my recommended treatments. I was to start chemo on a Wednesday following my port being put in on the previous Thursday, but I called to see if I could move it up to start on Monday (2 days earlier than planned). The sooner I started chemo the sooner I would be done and I could begin to put this whole mess behind me and get back to my life as if it never happened.
After 2 rounds of chemo I had felt like crap for a month straight. I functioned on days, because I had to with young kids, but most of the time I wanted to crawl into a ball in a corner. With all the help I had from family and friends, life did not stop for my cancer. I wanted to feel better but didn’t know how.
Part of the reason I felt so horrible was due to my blood count steadily dropping and my oncologist said we needed to consider a blood transfusion. I asked him if there was anything I could do to help my body better cope with the chemo and he said there was nothing I could do. He went on to say that my body was just not taking it very well. He also said this was all very normal and a transfusion is pretty much routine. That was all fine and dandy, but the thought of another procedure did not sit well with me.
It was around this time I had a friend come back into my life out of the clear blue sky and said she wanted to talk to me about nutrition. At first I thought she was crazy, but I was so desperate and she was so passionate about helping me that I felt that I had to hear her out. One thing led to another and next thing I knew I was signed up for a juicing class.
That’s when things really started to shift for me. Could juicing and eating better really help….only one way to find out. I dug in with all the strength I had. I bought a juicer, got me some wheatgrass and fresh greens daily and off I went. I had 2 weeks to make a turn around before we had to make a decision on the transfusion and wouldn’t you know it…..after 2 weeks I was stabile. My doctor said it was unlikely I would make it past the next chemo without my numbers dropping again, but I kept juicing. Not only did I make it past the next round but the next 3 after that never needing a transfusion. My body was actually responding to all the good stuff I was putting in it.
Seems funny to say this now, but I never even thought the way that I was living was killing me. Looking back, I can see that my body was telling me for a very long time. So long in fact that I can hardly remember when it all began. The warning signs were slight in the beginning, but they were there. My bodies check engine light was on and I ignored it and kept living. Those warning signs manifested in several different ways over the years, but now I can see those signs were there to tell me something was not right. Never for one moment did I think this was something I could prevent or reverse. Now that my eyes and heart are open I am here to share how I was able to address what I believe were the root causes for what eventually brought on my diagnosis with breast cancer.
Looking at life with a new perspective
After taking a real hard HONEST look at my life, I not only began implementing changes in my diet, but also in the way I handled stress and life in general. I continue to learn every single day on what it takes to listen to our bodies and giving it what it needs so that it can heal itself. I created mainlygreens.com to share some of the things that I have learned along the way. I began my healing journey focusing on bringing me back to health, but it quickly became a family affair. With the support of my husband and 3 girls, I am super motivated to build a foundation of health that will have us all navigating this life we have together in a more meaningful way.