Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Early detection saved actress-turned-activist Fran Drescher’s life in 1999—but only after the Nanny star endured two years of eight doctors misdiagnosing her stage 1 uterine cancer. By sharing her story—her New York Times bestseller Cancer Schmancer grew into a galvanizing preventive health movement of the same name—Drescher soon understood her distinctive voice could move others to take life-saving action. “I realized very quickly that what happened to me has happened to millions of Americans—misdiagnosis and mistreatment—and for many, though fortunately not myself, late-stage cancer diagnosis as a consequence,” she says. “We’re trying to avoid all of that by empowering patients with knowledge, because knowledge is power.”
Cancer Schmancer’s mantra—“In, on, and around, detox your home”—takes center stage at Drescher’s Women’s Health Summit in Los Angeles. “When you [consider] that most diseases—cancer and many others that plague Americans chronically—are environmentally stimulated,” she says, “we have a great capacity to reduce our risk of getting cancer as well as a host of other diseases and allergies simply by learning how to detox our home.” Surrounding yourself with natural health and beauty products is key to this mission—and here are a few of Drescher’s favorites.
“The gums are the gateway to everything, so use a toothpaste with (natural) ingredients that grew in your grandma’s garden. And baking soda is great!”
“I love it on the skin and the hair. It’s a great moisturizer. Of course, what you put on your skin—the largest organ in the body—is very important, so always make sure it’s organic. Also, coconut oil can help whiten your teeth if you mush it around in your mouth for 15 minutes.”
“Every meal you should be eating enzymes. As you’re chewing your food, every several bites, take an enzyme. The mouth is the beginning of the stomach—so the more you chew your food, the less your body will need to release acid.”
“A balance of microbiome in the gut equals good health, so take probiotics throughout the day. You don’t have to refrigerate them, so you can keep the sheets (of tablets) in your purse, in your briefcase, in your desk. At the end of the day, 30-40 billion CFUs is a nice place to be.”
“At least once a day you should be drinking a beautiful coconut water that tastes like it came right out of the coconut. It’s so high in electrolytes and all-natural.”
Drescher also recommends: “Bolster up on antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and electrolytes”—especially when traveling via airplane. Also, “olive oil with a drop of peppermint essential oil is a natural antibacterial—and it’s good for hair growth!”
Rising and shining organically
Organic food advocate Drescher has learned a world about nutrition since meeting husband Shiva Ayyadurai, a systems biologist, in 2013. “He’s an absolute, bona fide genius working on very important things that are in harmony with what I do as a health activist,” she says. “We eat pristine food, and our bodies are not going apoplectic over what we’re exposing ourselves to internally, topically, and environmentally.” The couple starts their day with warm water and fresh organic lemon juice, “which helps alkalize the liver and stomach. And that’s very good, because cancer hates alkaline and loves acid.” Organic fruit on an empty stomach (“the best way for the body to absorb its powerful nutrients”) is followed within an hour by breakfast—including organic oatmeal, organic Ezekiel bread, and organic almond butter. “Very often I eat a pasture-raised egg,” she adds. “Try to eat so you don’t denature the egg—eat it poached, soft-boiled or fried sunny side up.” And to drink? “Organic green tea is supposed to help keep the cancer away.”