Issie: The Cancer Diet.                                                          

The Cancer Diet.

What if someone told you that if you made certain changes to your life that you could live cancer free, forever.  Would you do it?  Well I certainly would make these changes!  Since being diagnosed I have read, researched and studied many, many cancer articles, and across the board, there is scientifically proven evidence that states that you can hugely increase your chances of not getting cancer.  And furthermore, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting a recurrence.  

Using all of this information, I have developed my own Cancer Diet.  Now, this is not a diet to loose weight, it is a lifestyle choice.  A healthier, fresher, more energized and positive way of life.  It revolves around 3 key elements: Lifestyle, Positive Thinking and Diet.

How is your lifestyle?  Are you stressed?  Are you happy?  Are you content with your lot?  Truly?  I believe that if you are not completely comfortable with your life, that your body will tell you in some way.  How often do we hear of people getting the flu due to begin run down?  I believe that your lifestyle has a huge impact on your health.  We need to be happy in ourselves.  Looking back now, I can honestly say that my life was stressful in the run up to my diagnosis.  I had launched my own business, Issie's Handmade Chocolate.  I had appeared on the Irish Dragons Den, which was a very stressful situation.  I was working full time.  And I was a mother to 2 young children.  I was also married and trying to run a home!  At the time I thought that all of this was perfectly normal, but looking back, it was a recipe for disaster.  I often think now that getting the cancer was my bodies way of making me slow down.  And I will never go back to the way things were.  I have learnt my lesson the hard way.  Yes, of course, I will work again.  However, I will never again let work rule my life the way it did.  The work/life balance is critical.  So, I ask you, how is YOUR lifestyle?

From the very outset of my diagnosis, I never once doubted that I would be healthy long term.  I am an extremely positive thinking person and I truly believe that this has carried me through the dark times of my cancer.  I have seen suffering beyond belief.  I have seen people have seizures in the chemotherapy ward, I have sat next to people as they asked the social worker in the chemotherapy ward how they would tell their children that they only had weeks to live.  I have listened as a woman cried the night before her mastectomy.  And I have sat and listened as a lady told me that it is her seventh time having cancer in the last 5 years.  I have been to hell and back.  Yet, I have completely, truly and wholeheartedly believed that I will get through this and that I will make a complete recovery and live until I am 100 years old!  Positive thinking is critical.  You have to believe that you will be fine.  If you slip into a depression, I really believe that your health will suffer.  You will be well if your mind believes that you will be well.  I cannot emphasise how critical this is.  Believing in positive thinking definitely got me this far.  And I feel that we can apply this to all aspects of our lives. 

Diet is critical.  And yes, we are what we eat.  I have made radical changes to my diet in the last few months.  Before my diagnosis, I thought that I ate a relatively healthy diet.  But I can now admit that I did not.  I used to suffer from headaches, panic attacks and heart palpitations.  And since I have changed my diet, I have not had any of these.  Also, there are cancer super foods that I now eat daily, which I had not done in the past.  I believe that we eat far too much processed food.  We need to increase our intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses.  We need to increase our fiber intake and lower our animal fat intake.  We need to consider every bite we put in out mouth and ask ourselves is this really good for my health or is it potentially making me ill?  I have tried and tested every conventional diet on the market and I can honestly say that I have finally got the balance right.  It may take 28 days to wean your body off the cravings, but wouldn't it be worth it for a fitter, leaner, healthier body?  Your weight will stabilize and you will look and feel amazing.  Also, exercise is crucial.  Do you exercise?  I would recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise.  And it must be something that you really enjoy.  Something fun.  I personally choose walking, cycling and horse riding.  I cannot emphasise the importance of exercise to your overall well-being.

Right now, I feel fit, healthy, and strong both mentally and physically.  I am a completely different person to the person that I was 12 months ago.  Considering what I have gone through (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy), this is no mean feat.  I feel that getting cancer was my bodies way of telling me that something had to change.  Life could not go on the way that it was.  And now, I feel energized, positive and truly calm and happy.  Sadly, I had to learn the hard way.  So, I put it to you, what changes are you going to make to your life?