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Behind the Spice: Dana’s Before and After

Oct 14, 2021

For Anyone Who Has Been Diagnosed with Cancer, There Will Always be the “Before” and the “After.”

For me, I got the call on May 21, 2013. I’d been going through the process that you really don’t believe will actually lead to a cancer diagnosis until it does  – an irregular mammogram and then step-by-step, on from there - cancer.  When I was diagnosed, I’d already lost both my parents to cancer in the five years before my own diagnosis. I was deep in my career that I loved, a wife and a mom to three young spectacular kids. Despite losing my parents when they were so young, both just 63, I, like so many of us, was heads down and, as happy and fortunate as I was in my life, focused on just getting through each day and trying to keep it all together. My own health, wellness, a considered approach to what I put in my body and why, where it came from and how it could make me better, stronger and healthier, was not at all on my radar. All of that was focused on my family. All this is the “before.”

I consider the “after” my diagnosis a gift. Of course, a gift of having made it through the next couple of years of surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation with the support of family and friends I didn’t even know I had. And, the gift of mindfulness (most of the time!) to my approach to life that was missing before my own journey with cancer. It cleared so much of what I think of as personal baggage from my life – not all of it, for sure, but I gained perspective. A commitment to being present and a part of my incredible family’s lives, to never taking time, or my good fortune, for granted. I was reminded of all this again when I had another cancer scare in 2020 and, as it turned out also quite fortunately, heading into the pandemic. 

I took that time to recover, re-focus and think about what was next. Which led me to another great gift – the opportunity to work with my amazing friend Bina to build and launch SugarRoti. I had already made the traditional Indian spices that make up our beautiful blends a key part of my commitment to a healthy diet  – turmeric, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to name a few. All spices that have long been recognized for their health benefits, and that I had made the personal decision to incorporate into my own cooking while focusing on health, wellness – and great taste. 

Bina had years ago conceptualized the idea of SugarRoti in her own focus on health and the legacy of the spices she grew up cooking with. As we headed into the pandemic, she was also at a point in her life where she was looking for work that was meaningful and impactful.  We put our heads together and in less than nine months, created our 15 different blends, designed our beautiful sustainable package and then built and now offer them through our gorgeous ecommerce storefront when we launched SugarRoti in January 2021. 

Together, we’ve created a company and products that empower everyone to cook amazing meals, using fresh healthy ingredients and our delicious healthy blends.  A partnership and company I’m so very proud and grateful to be a part of creating and building, that empowers everyone to choose health, wellness and amazing taste cooking with our incredible Indian blends and few fresh ingredients.     

Above all, be the  heroine of your life, not the victim!

    — Nora Ephron
      A great event supporting cancer research and care:

      https://cancer.ucsf.edu/special-events/taste-for-the-cure

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