5 festive tips for avoiding overindulgence (without feeling like you're missing out) these holidays!
Alcohol and obesity are strongly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. So that can make the Christmas holidays - with all those pavlovas, work drinks and scorched almonds on offer - a little bit challenging!
No one wants to be miserable, hiding at home away from temptation, so here are some useful tips to get you through the holidays:
See you in 2018!
I have my annual mammogram tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.
I think I’m probably less nervous now than I was a couple of years ago – it’s been well over 6 years now since I had cancer, and I know that the longer I go without getting cancer again, the less chance I have of getting cancer again.
I also know I’m doing all I can to reduce the chances of that happening again.
I feel those butterflies in my tummy, the memories come flooding back of the first time, and the result, and all that followed – that part wasn’t great. An overall feeling of dread I think you could call it. Much like going to the dentist when you’re 10 years old (I had a lot of fillings!).
The first study on “Scanxiety” came out in 2016. I don’t think that’s an official word yet, but it’s definitely on the “street” where the people are real. Apparently 83% of people have some experience of pre-scan anxiety (or scanxiety). And it's hardly surprizing. That one scan could kick off on an entirely “sh$tty year”, or give you another chance of freedom.
It’s nice to know that it’s entirely normal, and also pretty unavoidable. So here are my top 8 tips for dealing with Scanxiety:
Here's to peace in scanning!
*Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall mood and wellbeing in women who’ve completed treatment for breast cancer. I’m a certified MBSR teacher and will be running a course in Auckland next May,
How to start taking actions without feeling overwhelmed and guilty, and wondering if you're doing enough!
You've finished cancer treatment, and now you want to do whatever you can to start feeling better again, right?
Well sometimes our best intentions can be our biggest obstacle!
One of my favourite messages is how taking control of the things in life that you can control is a huge step in moving forward after cancer treatment.
But how do you start taking actions without feeling overwhelmed and guilty, and wondering if you're doing enough???!
Watch the below video to find out!
The next Life 2.0 course is starting soon! Places are strictly limited to 10 participants, so don't hang about if you want to be on it!
Register for your spot here!
If group things aren't really for you, did you know that I can also support you one-to-one? Find out more, and book your free health discovery session to gain some clarity on where you are, figure out where you'd like to be, and see if working together is a good fit and I could help you achieve that.
Until next time!
If you needed another reason to pull on your sneakers, then a new study that may explain just why exercise reduces your cancer risk might just do it!
A new paper published this year by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests that lactate could actually be the key driver in the development and spread of cancer. Fellow science nerds see below for more explanation on this!*
The researchers believe that people who exercise regularly are better at processing lactate in the body (they’ve had more practice having to do this during exercise). Plus, if you’re a couch potato the combination of sedentary lifestyle and sugary diet may increase lactate in the body and lead to cancer development. The team believes their research could lead to new treatment options that include exercise and dietary recommendations. Read more on this here.
Yip, one more nail in the “I’ve got to move my butt” exercise coffin.
You can now add this to the very long pro-exercise list (already on that list is reduced recurrence and chance of heart disease, plus improvements in survival, energy, weight loss, self-esteem, mood, bone and muscle mass..etc etc etc).2
Okay you get the message!
So why is exercise still easier said than done?
In addition to the fact starting a new habit takes time, it’s that annoying f-word – fatigue!
Fatigue is frustrating as hell. Unfortunately, it’s a very real effect of cancer treatment. And even when you hear of study after study telling you to get moving, it isn’t always easy to do so!
It seems illogical, but moving when you really don’t feel like it, has been proven to be one of the best ways to beat fatigue.3
So how to start? The number one rule is to start slowly. Build up gradually.
If you currently don’t do anything, then pick something easy or fun.
Go for a walk around the block. Visit your local pool. Try a dance class. Ride a bike. Jump on a trampoline. Chase a child around the garden. Do some yoga. Ask a friend to join you. You don’t need lycra – though for some that feels great!
There's no perfect exercise, find what suits you.
On the flip side it can be easy to get over-enthusiastic, push yourself too hard and then be bedridden for the next week. Sometimes you won’t know until afterwards that you went too far. It’s a learning curve, its trial and error, it’s exploring to find your limits, and practicing learning to listen to your body.
If this happens to you, take note for next time and then do less, but whatever you do, don’t stop! Don’t be afraid of moving your body - your body loves to move, its born to move. It breaks down slowly if you sit on your couch too much!
Enjoy being in that beautiful body of yours that’s alive and kicking!
Take it gently, take it slowly, but start taking it!
And remember to congratulate yourself for doing some positive for your health and your body.
If you like the sound of all this “doing something good for yourself”, then make sure you register for the next Life 2.0 course starting August! Its filled with useful information in a positive environment to help you identify what small changes you could start making to take back some control over your health and life.
Nicky from the last course told me recently she got a pat on the back from her surgeon for how well she has recovered from her treatment. She credited it all to her improved exercise and diet that was inspired by Life 2.0! (really I know it was all her taking some positive action, but its still nice to hear! - Thanks Nicky!)
Until next time, keep sweaty!!
If you've finished cancer treatment, you might be finding it harder to get back into life than you expected. Don't worry, it's totally normal to feel this way! I know, because I've been there.
And I also know there is a way to move forward, and to feel even better than you did before you had cancer.
Click here to enter your details and get access to my webinar in which I'll explain how you can regain a sense of control over your life, look to the future with confidence AND lower your risk of recurrence.
I've got you covered!
Lack of energy following cancer treatment can be frustrating as h*ll! You just wish you could somehow “shake it off” so you can get back to life.
The truth is, it takes time for your body to rebuild itself.
But there is one easy way to know that you’re giving your body loads of nutrients in order to heal and get a boost of energy.
Eating more vegetables. Eww (can I hear you groaning from here?).
Yes, vegetables have been proven to be good for you – your mum was right. Plus, they are packed to the tips with antioxidants and cancer fighting properties.
Eating as many vegetables as humanly possible was one of the biggest changes I decided to make after I finished cancer treatment.
The problem was where to start? I hated vegetables, I also hated cooking and I used to eat ham sandwiches every day and sometimes muesli for dinner. The idea of cooking loads of vegetables from scratch seemed a lot of effort, and a little bit gross.
How was I going to increase my vegetable intake from 1.5 servings a day (and that was on a good day), to up to 10?! I had just been through cancer treatment, I wanted to enjoy my life. I didn’t want to eat raw broccoli crudités.
It was a bit overwhelming until I discovered “the secret”!
And the secret is in the glass!
And exactly what is in the glass? Smoothies and juices.
Yes, the fastest way to hook yourself up to some top-grade nutrients and immune boosting health is by drinking them. Daily if possible. If that sounds too off the wall crazy then make it weekly.
If you do nothing else, do this one thing.
It’s easy. It’s incredibly healthy. And it’s tasty. What more do you want? I mean really.
You don’t need to know how to cook. Or buy 50 recipe books. Or try and make bland foods taste good.
You just need to know how to plug in an appliance and press a button.
If you don’t like vegetables - juice them. Blend them. It makes them tasty and you feel great when you realise how many you just consumed. Even smug and chuffed I’d say.
When you juice and blend your veg the digestion starts in the machine. This means the nutrients are ready to go - you get the hit straight from your stomach into your bloodstream. Boom. No digestion effort required. This is great if you’re recovering from being ill, or like me, just plain lazy.
And your body will love you for it, by healing quicker, and feeling more energetic.
Try it first thing in the morning…a morning vegetable juice or smoothie will have you buzzing. No need for coffee I swear!
No time for healthy eating? You can whip up a smoothie in the time it takes to boil a jug of water. Just make sure there is a wad of green leafy veg in there, and not too much fruit.
It’s all a slippery slope from there. Over time your taste buds actually start changing, and before you know it you will be craving salad for lunch, and broccoli crudités for afters! Now I actually get excited when I even see kale. No lie! And if I can do it, you can too!
If following cancer treatment, you’re considering a dietary overhaul but you’re a health newbie, still skirting around the edges, considering whether to poke a finger into some daal or beetroot humus for the first time. Not too sure you have the commitment, or stamina, or interest…then juicing and smoothie making is for you!
When you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed it’s the fastest way to get some life-changing goodness in under 5 mins.
How does that sound for an energetic healing kick in the backside?
If you’d like some no-fail easy recipes to get you started then get my Beginners Guide to Juicing and Smoothie Making - just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Get the guide in the subject heading.
Remember I offer one-on-one coaching on getting back to feeling good again after cancer treatment, plus the next group Life 2.0 course is starting soon! Contact me if you’d like to know more.
You don't have to be recovering from cancer treatment to feel like your head might explode from stress.
But it does sometimes add that extra layer of anxiety and fear onto your already very busy “modern” life.
I’d like to clarify that it’s totally normal to feel anxious, especially if you’ve got appointments coming up, or you feel one of those unidentified pains or niggles.
But your mind can tend to run away with itself and I don’t mean to the sunny tropics, more like the cold, dark arctic - it’s its job to be a worrier!
So all that, on top of your normal to-do list, can have you some days constantly on the verge of bursting into tears in frustration (or punching someone in the face), whilst trying to hold it altogether with your “No, it’s all good in here” smile.
So here’s something to try, that has a surprisingly big impact on feeling more like “you” again.
Put your hands on your belly.
And take a deep breath. One so deep that your hands move, and your belly expands.
Then let it out (let it out with a sigh if that feels good).
Then take another breath. Right down deep.
And let it out.
Follow all the sensations of the breath coming in and out.
Keep doing that that for one minute.
Count how many deep belly breaths you do in one minute.
Remember that number.
This is your mindful minute.
Repeat this number of breaths in this way every time you feel your head, lower lip, or fist wobbling. Then do it a few more times for good measure.
You can do it in your car. On the couch. Walking the kids to school. Cooking dinner. At your desk. In a waiting room. With your eyes closed or open.
This my friend, is breathing. And its surprising how often we forget to do it!
You might not believe that something so simple can have such a big impact. But it does. Your body isn’t necessarily as complicated as your to-do list or your minds endless (and totally normal and to-be-expected!) worries about the future.
It takes in some pretty straight forward messages. So when you’re stressed you tend to breath high in your chest - much like a gazelle being chased by a nasty old Lion. Your body gets flooded with stress hormones so its ready to act, inflammation increases ready to repair injuries (which we now know can act like a fertiliser for any precancerous cells). And it makes you feel wobbly.
So sometimes we have to remind ourselves to breath like a big old buffalo rolling around in the mud. Our body gets the message and steps down, reduces its inflammation response, digests some food, switches to searching the body and killing any enemies like viruses and mutated cells that if aren’t destroyed can grow into cancer. Then it relaxes in the sunshine.
Oo doesn’t that feel better.
If you’ve finished cancer treatment recently, you might be noticing that moving forward isn’t as straight forward as you expected. Or the other important people in your life expected.
In fact it can sometimes feel like you’re standing on the edge of a void and the future is hazy, or blank, or just plain dark. That can feel scary.
I know because I’ve been there, but the good news is that you can take control back over your life and body again and I created Life 2.0 to show you how. The first Life 2.0 - how to live life after cancer treatment course finished last year, it was huge success and we’re planning more over the coming months. If you’d like to find out more then register your interest here.
Kathy who was on the last course gave me this feedback:
“This course has helped with my sleep and work life. I am happier, feel healthier and my energy levels have really picked up. Do it! It's definitely been productive in moving on after cancer for me.“
Until next time peeps, remember to breath!!!