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Food to heal – Eating a rainbow

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have struggled with my weight for many years. But it took my breast cancer diagnosis to make me think properly about whether what I eat could contribute to illness. Also whether what I eat could also heal.

Of course I have tried to eat healthily over the years. But not with a specific purpose in mind and while I don’t believe my (or anyones cancer) is caused by diet alone I do believe diet plays it part.

A friend told me about the above book, it was something her own brother was trying. I took a look online at the Rainbow Diet website and then ordered the book. At the time I was recovering from surgery and had plenty of time on my hands. So read it cover to cover. It made a lot of sense. I’m not saying this is the only resource, or that you should follow to the letter. But it is a very good start. Indeed that has been the beginning of my reading and journey, not the end.

The Rainbow Diet

The author of the Rainbow Diet, Chris Woolhams is a biochemist with personal experience of cancer through his daughter. He became convinced that diet could help improve her brain cancer and set out on a mission to research foods and their role in preventing or helping people recover from cancer. He looked at diets and food groups across the world and the health outcomes of the people who ate them.

The diet promotes a fresh and varied diet of organic vegetables, some fruits, non cow diary and starchy carbohydrates in moderation. He advocates organic, grass fed meat, no or little processed / refined foods and filtered water. There’s more, but you’ll have to read it if you want to know more.

There is evidence of link between hormones added to the food chain and cancers such as breast. And, because my breast cancer was hormone dependent my interest was pricked.

The journey to a healthier me

I’ve never been allergic to food or anything else. I can’t drink too much coffee because I suffer from a fast irregular heart beat from time to time. But otherwise there is nothing I can say affects me. Cutting out certain foods and drinks have not necessarily made me feel better, apart from a little bloating. So, unlike some others it’s difficult to know whether you are getting healthier.

The first thing I did was to cut out artificial sweeteners. It’s suggested in the book and elsewhere that aspartame and other sweeteners may be no better than sugar. I was drinking quite a log of Pepsi max as well as diet yogurts and biscuits etc.

We already cooked from scratch, but over the past year or more have eaten far fewer processed foods. Our vegetables were already mostly organic but again I’ve increased my intake of a variety of them.

But, while my insides may have been healthier I had lost no weight. Which is why I’ve been looking what I need to do to make that happen. Part of being healthier now means not being (clinically) obese and as close to a healthy BMI as possible. This post outlines my reasons for starting intermittent fasting in November. Then since the beginning of this month I have cut my carbohydrates and also alcohol intake.

I fully expect the only visible signs that any of this works to be that I will be lighter and my clothes smaller. I also would never pin my hopes that I will never suffer ill health again because of what I eat. But the thing about having something like cancer is the feeling of being out of control. Taking care over what goes into your mouth feels like an important step to taking that control back.

9 thoughts on “Food to heal – Eating a rainbow”

  1. What we put in our bodies makes a huge difference to overall health; we were designed to eat natural foods, not chemical substitutes, so it makes a lot of sense to cut out artificial foodstuffs like “hormone enhanced” meats and lab-created sweeteners like aspartame.

    I think it also makes sense to use self-awareness in terms of “how I feel” as a dietary guide. Not in a “I’m depressed so I will eat junk food” way but in a “What kind of energy do I have after consuming that snack?” kind of way. Being aware of how you truly feel (hyper? still hungry? bloated? like you’ve gotten a boost of energy? more awake? etc.) after eating or drinking a specific thing is a good intuitive first step toward making dietary changes.

    You’re lucky that you don’t have any obvious bad reactions to specific foods. I cut meat out of my diet in 2010 because I always felt gross after eating it. I’d be bloated, my skin felt agitated, my tummy hurt.

    When I was figuring out my migraine triggers, I paid close attention to what I ate and how I felt afterward. It didn’t take long to discover what my trigger foods were.

    So what you’ve written here makes a lot of sense to me.

  2. I so agree with you, if we watch what we put in our mouths, we ARE in control. I look forward to reading more about your journey with eating healthy, what works for you and what not. I think there is a lot to be discovered about good foods, and also what works for the one, doesn’t for the other.

    Rebel xox

  3. Great post and I can understand the logic behind the diet he suggests. Hormones in food just cannot be good.
    And I cut sweeteners out years ago – read about aspartame and seizures etc and that was that. I know so many people are just not careful about reading labels and will have a G&T for example 😉 without checking if it has sweeteners in the ingredients. I have been a fan of fever tree since it first hit the stores – I like my vodka and tonic to be just right 😉

  4. This is really interesting. I will check out that book. I have been experimenting with altering the level of carbs I eat and I have given up alcohol as it just does not agree with me.

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  6. I have always been really bad about not really caring what I ate. It wasn’t until I started the keto diet that I really started to pay attention to what was going inside me. This looks like an interesting diet. When I first read the title I imagined eating a food of each color of the rainbow, lol.

    1. Well that sometimes happens because there is an emphasis on fresh veg. I think paying attention to what we eat is something that definitely comes over time. Thanks for commenting.

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