Making a Habit of Health

“People don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.” – F.M. Alexander

This year is my 21st birthday of breast cancer survival and my fifteenth year of working with other cancer survivors. My poor prognosis prompted a radical review of my life – I was a young mum with everything to live for, so survival was the only option I was prepared to consider. Leaving no stone unturned, I changed my diet, my career, my habits and my whole outlook – learning to work with my body rather than against it. Looking back, I can see that cancer did me a huge favour: in looking for ways to extend my life, I also learned how to enjoy my life.

Back in 1997, when I was diagnosed, the idea of influencing survival with diet and lifestyle choices was considered delusional: I was told there was nothing I could do. But instinctively I knew my habits and attitudes had the potential to radically change my biochemistry and, luckily, there were a few pioneering souls (like Bernie Siegel and Penny Brohn) who agreed with me. I made it my mission to learn everything there was to know about people who had influenced their own survival in natural ways.

Since then, our knowledge of cancer has progressed fantastically. We have identified the ‘hallmarks’ of cancer development and progression, and formed a detailed understanding of the underlying genetic and metabolic pathways. The research is building every week to prove that cancer cells do have weaknesses – and that we can exploit some of these with diet and lifestyle changes.

Instead of revealing a single cause, or magic bullet, the evidence shows that cancer is the result of a series of malfunctions. The conditions associated with an increased risk  include nutrient deficiencies, oxygen depletion, chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, rampant stress, raised blood sugar, inappropriate growth signals, genetic damage: the familiar maladies of modern life. It’s obvious, at least to me, that if you address these issues, you make it more difficult for cancer to thrive.

With so many individual variables to consider, it’s not surprising that science-based natural health practitioners are increasingly recognising that the path through cancer is highly individual too. Your route to recovery is about doing what you feel is right, what works for you, and what your instincts are pulling you towards. I see my role as providing you with the support, knowledge and sometimes even the permission, to do what you need to do to survive. To help you get back in balance, to cultivate new trust and respect for your body, and to re-engage with life with optimism and energy.

You will have heard people say ‘we are what we eat’, but it’s not quite that simple. Our genes and environment, thoughts and lifestyle have significant impact too. Our work will focus on the interaction of all these factors in your life, creating a tailored diet and lifestyle plan to help you to get the best from your treatment, and to support your return to health and happiness once treatment is over. By making better diet and lifestyle choices in the future than you did in the past, you are statistically far more likely to join the survivors.

These days, I have a lot more than instinct to guide my practice. My work is based on years of study, extensive research, and a passion for my subject. I have achieved a high level of academic and professional competence but I am also a warm and friendly therapist with a realistic and down to earth approach. I graduated from ION in 2004 and I was a tutor and lecturer for the college for five years. In 2016 I completed a postgraduate certificate in Personalised Nutrition with CNELM and in 2017 I trained in Functional Medicine and became a BANT registered nutrigenetic counsellor. I’m registered with BANT and CNHC, and accredited by the NTC. I am an expert on the ketogenic diet and one of the first UK nutritionists to publish a book about it, The Dissident Diet, in 2012. I am a well-known lecturer and public speaker within my profession, and write a popular health and recipe blog.

I see clients at home in Kent and also via Skype and FaceTime, allowing me to help clients all over the world. You can read more about me over here or watch a short video over here. Learn more about my approach by following the blog, cooking the recipes, and keeping an eye out for updates on Facebook. When you’re ready, please get in touch to tell me about yourself or make an appointment or book a free exploratory chat with me here.

At the current time in the UK it is illegal for anyone who is not a doctor to claim to treat or prevent cancer or to give advice about cancer treatment. The information, recipes and suggestions shared here are written for a wide audience and should not be construed as personal recommendations; neither are they intended as an alternative to medical advice.

The plethora of books and advice out there is confusing to say the least.  Your ability to distil the latest research and give sensible practical advice on how to make changes to our diets I personally find invaluable.

Rachel

You helped me see that there are things you can do to help yourself and you know what changes to make if you give yourself enough time, thought and kindness.

Jane