When I think about cancer care, I think the future is going to be a more integrated, whole-body approach. That what we have currently (chemotherapy/surgery/radiotherapy/drug therapy) will evolve to become a model where these hospital-based treatments will be paired with extensive at-home diet and lifestyle recommendations (more than what we have currently), to treat not only the cancer, but the person as a whole.
And in my mind, this can’t come soon enough.
I feel it’s already happening online, where there is an ever-growing movement towards plant-based eating and healthy lifestyles to support cancer treatment. My advice as a cancer survivor is – don’t wait for the “rules” to be changed – make your own rules now and make your own positive changes.
Start small and work your way to where you want to be.
This is what Happy Magazine is all about.
Here are five things you can start doing right away to help boost your body, no matter where you are in treatment.
Drink more water
Staying hydrated while going through cancer is very important. It will help your body flush toxins out and your cells regenerate. It will also help you feel generally better and more energised. If you’re going through chemotherapy it is recommended that you drink two litres of water throughout the day and this is a daily rule I have adopted since my own cancer journey.
I carry a water bottle around everywhere now. Around the house, to the shops, in the car, on a walk, to my yoga classes – everywhere. I don’t leave home without it and when I’m at home, I’m constantly bringing it from room to room as I move through the day and to bed with me at night.
Supercharge secret – Filter your water using a home filter system or a filtered jug, so the water you are drinking is as clean as possible.
Eat (or drink!) more veg, especially green veg
Juicing fresh fruit and vegetables with a masticating juicer is a great way to give your body the materials it needs to promote healing, energy and protect from illness.
Supercharge secret – Greenvalu is an Irish company supplying the GreenValu Masticating Juicer which is easy to use, easy to clean and affordable at €130. This mention is not sponsored, it’s just something I have learnt along my own cancer experience.
Cut down on/eliminate alcohol and cigarettes – give them up entirely if you can
I know this can seem like the end of the world. And if there is already too much pressure on your shoulders, then so be it. But. If you can give either or both of these vices up, or cut down, there is never a time more important than now, during cancer treatment, to do so. Use all the supports available to you, from your hospital or GP, and give this a go. Your body will thank you.
Supercharge secret – If you feel you really cannot give up that glass of wine you love so much (I know I find this hard) – limit it to one or two glasses a week and stick to it. You will appreciate it so much more then when you do have it.
Start walking every day
Walking can be a wonderful therapy as well as great exercise. Walking thirty minutes a day not only has great benefits for your body but will also lift your mood. You don’t need to drive anywhere first. Just open your front door and away you go. Round the block, down the road, to the shops. Anywhere. If you are not a regular walker, start small, with ten minutes per day. Walk away from your house for five minutes, turn around and walk back to your house for five minutes.
Supercharge secret – If you are walking on your own, try listening to music via your phone and earphones and turn your walk into a bit of music therapy too.
Eliminate stressors in your life
Whatever it is that stresses you out, do what you can to eliminate or reduce those stresses. This could mean learning to say ‘no’ to social invitations or remembering not to put too much stress on yourself. Sometimes you may not even know what it is that is bothering you – get a blank sheet of paper and a pen and ‘pour it all out’. Then sit back and look at what you have written. Get another colour pen and write near each stressor how you can eliminate or reduce it.
Supercharge secret – Discover yoga, meditation and deep breathing for stress relief and learn to call on any of them whenever you feel the need.
What do you do to help your body feel good? What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear in the comments.