Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Ok, I have started heading in a new direction with my blog.
I began from a wellness coach angle, hoping to build my coaching business by getting people interested in what I had to say and want me to help them to follow a healthier life.
Unfortunately, as pointed out - tactfully - by my daughter, what I had to say was not particularly different from what anyone else interested in wellness was saying: but, undeterred I aim to carry on; please bear with me!
Why did I, personally, change to a plant-based diet?
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 - I wanted to live (surprisingly enough!?) Whilst the NHS had been wonderful with my treatment, they leave you with "eat a healthy diet" ........ no other advice
hmmmm that didn't quite cut it with me - what does a 'healthy diet' mean?
The NHS Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:
eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
Sounds fair enough, right? Then you Google (oh, Google, you have made us doctors overnight!!) 'diet to prevent breast cancer', which let's face it, that is what I wanted to do, and you open up a whole raft of diet tips.
What increasingly came to the fore is that ' researchers suggests that women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer who eat full-fat dairy products after diagnosis are more likely to die from breast cancer than women who eat low-fat dairy products after diagnosis.'
This came up more and more, the link between dairy and breast cancer; someone suggested the book by Prof Jane Plant - Your Life in Your Hands.
It totally changed the way I ate.
This lady had cancer too many times for one person, but when she changed her eating to eliminate dairy (amongst other things) after noting that people who followed an Asian diet, which does not include dairy, seemed to have a far lesser occurrence of breast cancer, she overcame numerous cancer occurrences.
So I gave up dairy (oh Mars Bars and cheese, how I miss you) and have not touched it since.
(I am not naive enough to think that cancer will never return because I have given up dairy - Jane Plant, although she beat cancer on numerous occasions, is no longer with us. But it gives me a little hope.)
I must at this stage add that Breastcancer.org report that alcohol may increase oestrogen levels and causes damage to DNA. They also note that women who drink three alcoholic beverages per week increase their risk of developing breast cancer by 15% - not good for someone (like me) who enjoys a tipple.
You have, I believe, to achieve a balance.
Dr Greger (my food guru) says that studies suggest that eating a plant-based diet can reduce your chances of breast cancer, please read his book ; How Not to Die and subscribe to his site NutritionFacts.org, it's a game-changer.
So I now eat a totally plant-based diet and try, and I mean, 'try' to limit my alcohol intake.
If the cancer returns I can assure you that I will eat the whole cheese counter in Waitrose and a full multi pack of Mars Bars, but until that time......plants rule!!