I recently received a call from a mother who had just been diagnosed with cancer for the second time. Although I hear these stories day after day on my helpline it never fails to hit home to me how such news can turn your life upside down. I recognised how frightening it was for this young mother and I sometimes wonder how I myself coped throughout those difficult days. I remember how I would put the kids to bed and cry at the thoughts that I may not live to experience the special moments of their lives and thankfully 17 years on I have been there for so many of these moments. People ask me all the time “how did you cope” so I thought I would try and explain what helped me when I was diagnosed with cancer. The first time I received the news I had cancer I was 33 years of age. With two small kids, I somehow muddled through but I really learned nothing about the disease and once in remission I continued on my life as normal and didn't make any changes to my diet or lifestyle. Twelve years later when cancer returned in my breast it was a wake-up call that made me realise I had to find a way to reshape the life that I so desperately wanted to hold onto. I had a strong notion that diet and lifestyle has a huge role to play in combating the effects of this cruel and frightening disease - a disease which is now affecting one in three women and one in two men in the world today. So in order to help myself, I knew I had to provide a regular supply of food that was not stripped of its immune-boosting nutrients. Fresh, raw, unprocessed foods provide us with the best essential components for health and are the finest medicine that nature can provide. One of the most important steps I took at that time was to take responsibility for my health. When you are diagnosed with cancer you feel helpless. Worry and fear can take over. Practical steps really helped me as it gave me something to focus on besides the cancer and the treatments. I figured it was better to make one change than do nothing at all. One change can often pave the way for another especially when you begin to notice the benefits it brings. It's very empowering and makes you want to do more. Don’t just read about health, take action, do it, create the health you want. Believe me, I have seen many people implement this lifestyle without much difficulty, and it’s not just cancer patients who are seeking changes to their lifestyles. When I started down this path 17 years ago it was difficult to find the juicer I needed, the organic veggies, wheatgrass, ect. People called me a health nut, a health freak, some even thought I had joined a cult. Of course, it made complete sense to me, it was eating food like my grandmother, or as mother nature intended us to. Now all these years later all these foods are readily available and have gained huge popularity. Thankfully people are getting more and more informed about their health. The changes I made have certainly improved my life beyond measure. As I spend my life now sharing the steps I took to support, sustain and improve my health throughout cancer. I am truly amazed at the incredible intelligence inherent in the human body…when we take care of it.
Educate YourselfThe essential ingredient for health is education. If you are going to work towards better health then you must get educated about it. Most people research in panic mode which is not always helpful as the fear dominates your thinking. As our culture is studded with myths, misinformation and misconceptions about health and nutrition. The impact of education is very important, otherwise health matters remain a mystery. When you understand the huge role nutrition plays in your health, you’ll find you won’t return to living the way you used to live. Read or research the facts about nutrition and invest time in your health. It is the best investment you will ever make. Learn to ask the questions that you need answers to. [caption id="attachment_743" align="aligncenter" width="500"] A Dinner to remember at Cornucopia with T. Colin Campbell, author of "The China Study", my amazing friend Deirdre McCafferty, Owner of Cornucopia, and Friends.[/caption]
Make Friends With Like-minded PeopleNaturally, you will want to give the best nourishment to your family, but you may not always find they are ready for it. If you are looking after a family and coping with cancer, reaching for a less than healthy option often becomes the reality. Understandably, preparing the healthy option usually gets shoved down the list of priorities. I know that changing the eating habits of others is not always met with open arms. For some, it can be very challenging especially if they are stuck in their comfort zone. In the early days, there was an argument almost every evening around my kitchen table. Mixing with other health-conscious people can sometimes prove to be the best possible way forward if your family are not really pulling together with you. Unless you have support, you’'re likely to be derailed. Finding others who will support your decisions and give impartial advice is a great help. When you socialise with these people, healthy eating becomes the norm and gives you a wider understanding. It’s a wonderful gift to share your experience with others and to see the positive effect you have on their lives. I see people that come to my courses swap numbers and stay in touch to motivate each other all the time and nothing makes me happier.
Make 3 Green Juices Each DayUse cucumber, celery, spinach, kale and flavour them with lemon and/or ginger. Remember you can make a real difference to your health with what goes into your shopping basket. Also, add few shots of organic wheatgrass ( not into the juice but separately on an empty stomach) into your routine.
Eat Raw Salad Each Day
Raw foods have all their nutrients intactDon’t boil, heat or zap the life out of your food. When food is cooked or steamed above 43°C or 115°F it destroys almost 100 percent of the enzymes in the foods. Enzymes destroyed in cooking are vital for breaking down foods into smaller, more usable nutrients, and this, in turn, helps the body absorb these nutrients from the foods more efficiently. Our health pays a significant price when we eat foods without these enzymes. This is why eating uncooked food is so good for us. Make yourself at least one raw salad a day and load it up with delicious sprouted seeds for optimum nutrition. If you need any help or advice please feel free to call my helpline, don’t be alone, I am here to help. PH: 01-8452957 If I have one final word on how to cope with cancer is Focus on the solution, not the disease.