The scariest word of them all

12 July 2010

Cancer, it’s been made out to be such a scary word, and I guess for many who have been through it there could be good reason for this. Yet on the other side of the coin I personally have been blessed to see clients beat cancer, and come out on the other end healthier and happier than they were before. Now as natural therapist the first thing that I must point out is that we don’t ever treat cancer. Confused? Well as natural therapists our aim is to treat you as a person, not a disease, we treat the cause of disease not the disease it’s self. So if someone presents in my clinic with ‘cancer’ the first thing I do is try and find out why this happened in the first place.
Environmental factors, defined broadly to include tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, diet, and infectious diseases, as well as and radiation, and leading a sedentary life style cause an estimated 78% of all cancer cases Australia. Among these factors, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and physical activity are more likely to affect personal cancer risk. Research shows that about one-third of all cancer deaths are related to dietary factors and lack of physical activity in adulthood. The first and most effective thing that anyone can do suffering from cancer is to reduce stress levels. Here are my top tips to reduce stress:

1. Throw out anything in your life that you stress over, such as work, extra commitments, managing the family budget, etc. Removing external stress as much as possible allows your body to focus on healing.
2. Laugh! 5 nights a week you should be watching movies or programs that make you laugh out loud. Things like the news and shows reporting on the doom and gloom in our world are a no no.
3. Get out into nature. Getting out side for 45 minutes a day to a park or some place that is special to you is a great way to reduce your stress levels
4. Surround your self with loved one, whether this is family, friends or your pets, surround your self with positive loving people.
5. Listen to beautiful music. Music has an amazing ability to affect our mood, listen to songs that make you feel good and are associated with fond memories.

Diet There are so many different types of diets out there for cancer; in fact there are different diets for different types of cancers. But the fact of the matter is cancer cells need two major things to survive:

1. Sugar
2. Acid

So the simplest thing you can do is to avoid all sugar in your diet. I’m talking about the non-natural stuff found in processed foods like biscuits, sweets, cakes and pastries, this also include artificial sugar replacements like aspartame. I don’t include fruit in this list. The second thing you can do is to reduce acid forming foods in your diet. The major acid forming foods I get people to cut out in their diets include:

1. Dairy – butter, cheese, milk, ice cream, cream,
2. Grains – wheat, rye, spelt, oats, corn, barley, rye rice, pasta, biscuits, noodles, bread
3. Drinks – coffee, all alcohol except red wine, milk, processed fruit juices and concentrates, soft drinks diet and regular
4. Meat – Bacon, deep fried or over cooked meats, cured hams and sausages
5. Pulses – Chickpeas, kidney beans and soybeans
6. Avoid any foods that are canned, frozen, contains preservatives, additives or food colourings.

So what can I eat? There is no one size fits all diet that will work for everyone, but in general the following guide lines work for most people:

1. Eats lots of fresh vegetables – you should be having 3 cups of vegetables raw or lightly cooked per day. 3 cups of mashed potato does not count! You should try to include a variety of colour on your plate and make sure you have plenty of the green leafy vegetables
2. Fruits – 2 serves of fresh fruit a day. Include berries like blueberries, strawberries, cranberries etc.
3. Snack on fresh nuts and seeds, avoid nuts that are roasted or rancid
4. Fish – get 3 serves of oil fish per week
5. Meat – my rule with meat is go organic, if you can’t go organic go pasture fed instead. Red meat should be consumed no more than 2 times a week and should be grilled or cooked lightly on a barbecue. The best types of red meat are kangaroo, goat, and lamb or osso bucco. Chicken and turkey should be consumed no more than 2 – 3 times a week; the rest should be a blend of fresh oily fish and vegetarian dishes. Avoid organ meats.
6. Drink plenty of fresh filtered water.

My last diet and lifestyle tip: 1. Exercise, movement is healthy! Even if it’s only walking for 20 minutes 3 times a week, some is better than none. One Final word of wisdom If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer then I suggest that you find a natural health care practitioner to work with, someone who has had experience in working with people diagnosed with cancer. With diet and lifestyle being the major causes of cancer it makes sense that basic dietary and lifestyle advice should be part of everyone’s cancer prescription.