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.