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You Don't Have To Have a Cancer Diagnosis to Change Your Life

I had the pleasure of attending an event in Newtown on June 28, 2019 that was hosted by founder Meghan Salonia. is a local media brand with a mission to give moms, dads, grandparents and others access to information and resources to help with life’s challenges.

Carrie Amos of Total Wellness LLC, Emanuela Palmares of Emanuela Palmares Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Gregg Roberts of GreggCRoberts came together to provide their expertise and insights on leading a healthier life mentally and physically.

The panel agreed that its hard to take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Carrie mentioned that there is a reason the airlines warn you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before applying it to a child in the event of an emergency. The same is true for your health.

Whether your medical situation is forcing you to change your behavior [i.e., dealing with cancer, diabetes or other issues] or not, there is room to change your lifestyle. But remember, “we don’t need a cancer diagnosis to start taking care of ourselves.” Selfcare isn’t just a buzzword.

Some things we can do to lead a healthier life?


  • Manage your mindset

  • control the intrusive thoughts that can derail your resolve

  • Get together with others who might be on a similar path - have company. We are not facing things alone

  • Know each individual is unique and may need to adjust their approach individually

  • Appreciate smaller victories and build success one step at a time - sometimes it is better to change one meal a day and do that for a period of time before replacing a second meal…start the day off right, etc.

  • Take personal responsibility

  • Be patient. Slow and steady wins the race

  • Own your failures but don’t let them discourage you

  • Remember, that by being healthier you are adding “life to your years”


  • Drink more water

  • Get proper sleep

  • Read labels

  • Create a plan and follow it (meals / exercise / etc.)

  • Reducing / eliminating processed foods

  • Reducing processed sugars / replacing sugars with natural unprocessed sweeteners

  • Find good substitutes to battle the cravings. When you feel the craving, your body is telling you something, but how you react is the key. Would your body be satisfied with a square of dark chocolate versus a whole snickers bar? Substitute water for soda, etc.

  • Dedicate time for yourself for exercise - perhaps in the morning and just stretching to music, etc.

  • Avoid food in boxes and cans if you can

Gregg mentioned that he is working on a new book that deals with some of the common threads for success in aging - people who are 95 plus and still largely independent and healthy. He mentioned a study called the Bluezone Study which addresses the importance of community and shared connection as we age. The more connected we are to “common ground” the more likely we are to thrive in older age. He mentioned that genes alone may only explain about 7% of longevity.

There were some great questions in the audience including the importance or connection to faith, ways to establish communities, and how to connect with more sources for whole foods (not the brand but raw veggies and such through community gardens and more), and ways to eat healthier on a fixed income.

It was a great panel and I appreciate that brought this into the community.

Short Descriptions of the Panelists:

Carrie is passionate about life coming from a background in nonprofit management who now lends her skills to helping individuals and groups cope with stresses that create challenges in people’s lives. She focuses on the wellness of the individual and believes one size doesn’t fit all.

Gregg has built a career around his passion for wellness. He takes a holistic approach with his customers. Personal life challenges forced him to look into his own personal health and wellness years ago and brought him down the path to becoming a healthcare advocate. He recognizes that the medical community, as smart as they are, cannot be our “saviors.” He is the author of “Progress Over Perfection: 16 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Health and Wellbeing” and works with individuals and companies with between 50-500 employees.

Emanuela is a health and wellness and nutrition advocate and coach who entered into the profession because she wanted to help her mom. Her mom had many chronic ailments and had prescriptions to help combat them, but when a doctor mentioned diet as a solution, she began to research and help coaching her mom on how to eat and cook. By doing it together, it changed her own behaviors and she began to see the results in her own health and energy. The whole family was transformed by that experience and she realized that, “We are what we eat and much more.”

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