I have long dreamed of a day when the NHS recognises the vital role of nutrition, exercise and psychological support for cancer patients. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it more than five years ago. Trust me to miss it when the day finally dawned…
One of the most exciting things to happen for cancer patients in recent years is the growing understanding of tumour metabolism – and with it come new opportunities to bring an end to this dread disease. But it is also bringing a new threat: people are confused between what their tumour ‘eats’ and what their body needs to eat. Do you know the difference?
As I write this, I am listening to Handel’s Messiah playing in the background – an age old Easter ritual for me. As well as calming my soul and lifting my heart, it reminds me of the underlying pagan theme of this time of year — the cycles of nature: spring and summer, flower and fruit, birth and death. It’s a message that all of us affected by cancer need to take to heart. Continue reading
It’s great to be able to share some good news about breast cancer: the headlines today report that improvements in surgery and radiotherapy techniques are helping to keep more women alive. But did you know you can further increase the effectiveness of treatment with simple diet and lifestyle changes? Continue reading
When I cured myself of irreversible, pre-cancerous proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL) my specialist surgeon was, I think it’s fair to say, gobsmacked. It’s something he had never seen before, and believed to be impossible. The five nasty white patches on my tongue melted away leaving a perfect pink patina, in five months flat.
One of the nicest things that happened for me in 2018 was being featured in IHCAN Magazine, the official publication for complementary medicine practitioners. As it’s not available to the general public I’m re-blogging the article here so you can see what I’ve been up to, and maybe even learn a bit more about me…
On 13 October I will be joining Dr Etienne Callebout and Dr Marcus Stanton at the Cavendish Conference Centre for a day that will focus on breast cancer and immunity. I will be talking about personalised breast cancer protocols and the methods I use to help clients identify and manage personal risk factors in order to optimise health and happiness after diagnosis. The event is aimed at a professional audience and you can book your ticket at http://www.nouveauhealth.co.uk. Come and say hello!
As you probably know, the data protection rules are changing. The general data protection regulation (GDPR) is coming into force on 25 May 2018.
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Your weight is an especially sensitive subject after a cancer diagnosis. Everyone knows that being overweight is linked to a higher risk of cancer but after diagnosis we are also told that it’s not a good idea to lose too much weight. I have found that the science around weight and cancer is not well understood, giving rise to all sorts of unhealthy advice. So what are the facts? Continue reading
I’m sharing this post from Vicky Unwin’s great site, Healthy Living with Cancer. A Cochrane review is considered the gold standard for evidence evaluation. If you take this right back to Warburg’s theories, I suspect the benefits of yoga are closely linked to optimal oxygenation.
Perhaps more than any other disease, cancer prompts people to make major life changes. Research suggests that less than 10% of cancers are genetic in origin, meaning that diet, environment and lifestyle are responsible for the rest. Functional medicine looks at the complex interplay of these factors for individuals with a view to restoring healthy functioning to body systems. Continue reading
I’ve been a busy girl this week so I didn’t catch up with BBC’s Doctor in the House until Friday evening. When I did I was surprised it hadn’t made major headline news. After all, whenever there’s a story about the dangers of supplements you’ll find it all over the front pages of the papers. What a surprise, then, that a story showing how magically effective supplements can be didn’t get the same treatment! What gives?
For some time I have been concerned about the widespread use of the ketogenic diet as a sort of ‘party trick’. If you look online for ketogenic foods you will come across all sorts of crazy food combinations that seem to offer the ability to stuff your face with chocolate flavoured fat, or mountains of bacon and eggs, with no metabolic consequences. Even before I start thinking about the biochemistry, something fundamental in me knows that can’t be right. Continue reading
Have you ever had a period in your life where, despite the fact that everything looks the same on the outside, you know that everything has changed on the inside and will never be the same again?
As I fell into bed after a very enjoyable celebration of New Year 2017 with some of my nearest and dearest, I read with despair that there had been another mass shooting with many lives lost. So the worries of 2016 have already infected 2017 and it’s not always easy to look on the bright side of life.
With that in mind, I ditched plans to write about how to make resolutions that stick, deciding it might be more helpful to share some nutrition and coaching ideas around how to stay upbeat when the world seems determined to drag you down.
Here are my suggestions: Continue reading
Core to my MSc. programme is the idea that we are all unique, and that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet. You may think that’s a great way for nutritionists to justify their existence on the planet but the more I read, the more true it becomes. Continue reading
The Eatwell Guide is in the news yet again. Zoe Harcombe is doing a magnificent job of pointing out its many flaws, and I’m tempted to leave her to it. But I thought you might like to hear my views on it too. I’ll be brief! Continue reading
These last few days, during a gap between modules on my MSc, I’ve been enjoying updating my knowledge about the latest advances in cancer treatments. Our understanding of the way cancer behaves is changing and evolving, and with it our ability to influence its growth and behaviour. I’ve been closely following this field for a couple of decades and feel genuinely excited about the things I’m reading and learning. Continue reading
Or why bank holiday Monday might be the worst day to sunbathe ever.
I know! It’s another cloudy bank holiday in the UK, but if it were full-on sun we’d be stripping off, baring lily white legs and shoulders, and wondering if it will shine long enough to be worth getting the sun cream out. Is it a factor 15 or factor 30 day? Gone are the days of coconut oil and tin foil! Continue reading
In attempting to explain the importance of gut flora, I often ask people to imagine themselves as an outside-in planet.
Your digestive tract is densely populated with micro-organisms in a similar way to humans on the face of the earth, though the scale is somewhat different. While there are billions of humans on Planet Earth, there are trillions of bugs inside you – about ten times as many critters as you have cells, all eking out a living on you and from you. And, if you play your cards right, they have plenty to give you in return.
If you are positively prune-like at the end of Dry January then I hope you feel justifiably proud of yourself. Maybe you’ve seen some health benefits too? I’ve heard people say they sleep better, feel more alert, less depressed and can see improvements in their skin and digestion. It’s a great start to the year.
But what next? Continue reading
I have always been mad about biology. From the moment in Lower Remove classroom when I opened my first Biology text book under the watchful eye of Sister Prudence (who instructed us not to look, yet, at page 24 where all the books naturally fell open) I was hooked. Continue reading
Perhaps more than any other holiday, Christmas is the one where we take time off specifically (or so it seems) to beat ourselves up. It’s a time of excess drinking, eating, spending and partying, and it takes its toll. Continue reading
It’s three years this month since I wrote The Dissident Diet, based on my own experience of losing three stone, and a pilot study carried out with 16 people who needed to do the same. At the time it was ground-breaking, and more than a little brave, for a professional nutritionist to recommend a ketogenic diet when so many people in nutrition and medicine felt it was dangerous. Continue reading
On the off-chance that I haven’t bored you enough already with the story of my latest medical escapade, I’d like to share what I learned while ‘inside’ the NHS. It’s a message that I believe affects us all, no matter how confidently healthy, no matter how cocooned with private health care, and no matter how meticulous you are about your own diet and exercise. Continue reading
No one has all the answers to cancer treatment, and the more we understand about the disease, the more we realise that everyone’s condition is different. It makes sense, therefore, that everyone’s route to recovery will involve different elements.
When I discovered that ‘healthy whole grain carbohydrates’ were causing my worrying weight problem I felt like I’d stumbled across the Holy Grail. That was back in 2012 when I published The Dissident Diet. I wrote it as a healthier version of the ketogenic/Atkins diet with an emphasis on losing weight. Continue reading
I’m sharing this excellent article from Vicky Unwin’s site. With one in two of us in the UK facing cancer this may be something to factor into your election decision making.
This is perhaps unnecessarily depressing, even if true. What is important is Macmillan’s conclusion:
‘better prevention; swifter diagnosis; and better treatment, care and aftercare for all those diagnosed with cancer’
Healthy eating, exercise and a positive attitude all play their part, as does early diagnosis. I thank my lucky stars that the extreme pain I was in alerted me to my cancer, even if it had reached stage 3 in just a few weeks. As lung cancer, the secondary associated with sarcoma, has such a poor record here, we can be doubly thankful.
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Facing up to the statistics around your cancer diagnosis can be difficult, and a lot of people would rather not know. I don’t blame you. No one wants to hear that sort of news, especially when it’s unlikely to be correct.
As a nutritional therapist, I always find it hard to swallow when clients come back from the oncologist having been told that there’s no point changing their diet. Even if we accept that diet is not going to cure cancer, it can make you feel much better and be of great help in dealing with side effects. Continue reading