Healthy eating has always been a big part of my life – like many people, I pay careful attention to my nutrition, enjoying the odd treat here and there. But I was given an extra push to focus even more carefully on what I was eating and drinking when I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago.
But while I was in the hands of the NHS for my chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I realised there was one area of life I could still control, and it made sense to me to give my body all the help I could in terms of eating and drinking wisely.
And this is where my obsession with juicing began.
I’d always been interested in juicing, even before my diagnosis, but I didn’t do it all the time as much as anything because of the washing up. But the NHS don’t really give a lot of information on nutrition for cancer patients, so I bought a lot of books to help me understand how I could help myself. Two days later my juicer was back out and this time it was here to stay.
Fresh juices are delicious, I drink five a day! As I needed six months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I wanted to give my immune system a boost. Drinking juices daily helped me to feel more reassured that I was controlling my nutrition. I’d been spending hours shopping for what I considered to be the ‘right’ foods, and I knew I couldn’t continue to live my life that way.
My journey into juicing
I decided to take some time off work during my treatment and recovery, and it really made me take stock of my life. I wanted to do something I was passionate about, so I’ve now launched my own juicing and cleansing business. Obviously I’m a huge advocate of juicing and I practise what I preach. I still have a piece of chocolate once in a while but I’m trying to phase that out too.
I met a lovely couple recently who believe they used nutrition to cure cancer when the wife was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. They really believed it – I’m not sure the doctors agree – but it was really interesting to hear what they had to say. You can find out more at www.cancer-acts.com.
You can introduce juices to your normal diet or use them to cleanse your body of toxins. I’d always recommend a juice cleanse at the start of your programme, where you only eat fruits and vegetables and drink herbal teas and water. If you’re new to juicing then gradually change your diet on the run up to your cleanse, so you don’t suddenly suffer from, for example, a huge caffeine withdrawal.
The benefits of a juice cleanse:
- Increase your energy levels.
- Improve and rejuvenate your skin.
- Give your digestive system a break.
- Strengthen your immune system.
- Tackle bloating and IBS.
- Eliminate toxins and flood your body with nutrients.
- Loosing weight – a natural side effect of a juice cleanse.
- Better sleep habits.
Introducing fruit and vegetable juices into your everyday diet is a great way of giving your body essential nutrients. Shop-bought juices often contain pasteurised ingredients so have nowhere near the quality and quantity of nutrients of those in fresh homemade juices, made from whole (organic if possible) fruits and vegetables.
Juicing daily can help to:
- Make sure you get your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg.
- Supercharge your nutrient intake by providing your body with pure micronutrients, vitamins and enzymes.
- Raise your PH balance, which in turn helps to protect you from conditions like heart and kidney disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. There may be things you wouldn’t naturally think would taste nice in a juice, or that you don’t like, but you can hide the flavour and still get the nutritional benefits.
- Try the green juices – they’re really good for you!
- Stop reaching for the fizzy drinks to get a sugar fix. Juices will give you much more energy.
- And it might be a cliché but you really are what you eat – so make sure it’s good stuff.
I really believe that my focus on nutrition helped me through my treatment and it certainly helped me feel more positive. Being able to turn this interest into a new career gave me hope for the future… here’s to our good health.