MINNEOLA, Fla. – Cancer is a crushing diagnosis that forever changes the way people live their lives. One cancer survivor, Karen Trawick, decided her life would change for the better and opened a plant-based vegan restaurant in Minneola, serving meals that she says killed her cancer.
"Cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me," she said.
Two years ago, Trawick was diagnosed with stage two invasive inductive carcinoma in her left breast, which is breast cancer that has spread to the surrounding breast tissue.
“Once I was diagnosed, I knew I didn't want to do chemo and radiation, I just didn't want to put poison into my body," Trawick said.
Her doctor told her she was going to die if she didn’t go through with chemo, but Trawick wanted to battle cancer on her own terms.
She did extensive research on alternative methods of treatment.
"I believe wholeheartedly in conventional medicine, I think there is a time and a place for it,” she added. “It just wasn’t for me.”
Trawick then went to see Dr. Jeffrey Mueller from Whole family Health Care. She decided one way to heal her body was through the foods she ate and made significant changes to her diet.
“I went raw, plant-based and that started my journey,” she said. "I was low in vitamin D, magnesium, things like that. So, we increased those so my immune system could heal.”
After three months of diet change and IV vitamin infusions, Trawick went back to the doctor and the results were promising.
“They took me off of all six of my medications while I'm fighting cancer,” she said.
Her progress only continued from there.
"I brought my numbers and all my information back, and my doctor looked at it and said, 'I can't argue with this, it's working.’”
Trawick beat breast cancer, and now it’s her mission to help other cancer patients and people in her community discover the power of healthy eating and living.
Her restaurant, Get Back 2 Basics, serves a variety of plant-based foods ranging from quesadillas and burgers to salads and protein wraps. They also prepare meals for cancer patients.
All menu items have no meat, no dairy, no soy, no eggs and low oil. Trawick added, “[The] only sugar in here is natural, purposefully, because sugar feeds cancer.”
The survivor has inspired many in her community, and she is humbled by the support and impact her story has had.
“I have goosebumps…. I’ve had people come in here and say, 'I did this because of you, and this is my results.' I can’t do any better than that,” she said.
Trawick gave us the recipes to some of her favorite plant-based recipes. Try her black bean burger or oil-free strawberry vinaigrette.