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Why I stopped eating sugar?

During my bowel cancer journey, I came across the paradigm of sugar.

What it stuck to my mind wasn’t that cancer cells feed of sugar, it was that sugar weakens the immune system.

Sugar causes inflammation and cancer starts as inflammation in our bodies.

If you have read anything about cancer, you might know that we all have cancer cells in our bodies and if our immune system is strong and healthy, the immune system is capable of killing these cancer cells.

In my case, my immune system wasn’t strong enough but I decided to work on getting my most important asset as strong as it could be: my immune system.

Processed sugar meaning white sugar, raw sugar, ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, all the delicious things we get bombarded with on a daily basis. Hidden sugars like ready made pasta sauces, or sauces (like Jamie Oliver’s pesto sauce has sugar??), bread, cereal (OMG they are definitely the worst) and the list goes on…Oh and I forgot alcohol…yes I know alcohol…one glass of wine has about 8-9 teaspoons of sugar and let’s face it, we live in a society that it is totally fine to drink 2-3 glasses of wine daily without thinking it is damaging our health.

The World Health Organization suggests that kids have 3 teaspoons of sugar daily, woman has 6 teaspoons and men has 9 teaspoons of sugar daily. I think it is fair to say we are consuming beyond the recommended amount even when we think we are eating healthily, think apple juices with 6 teaspoons of sugar, plus tomato sauce with 1 teaspoon of sugar in one squirt etc…

I then read a lot about the sugar content in fruit. So many people talk about the consumption of fructose (sugar coming from fruit) when you have cancer. But I decided that if I cut out all of the processed food and sugars, all of my sugar intake would come from fruit (which is natural in this case). Also cutting out fruit could mean loosing out on many good vitamins that came straight from nature so I decided against it. I eat plenty of fruit and I believe fruit contributes to my overall body’s health and balance.

So why are we not stopping sugar?Ok, you don’t know me and this is just someone’s opinion but if you look into it, there will be millions of books, internet articles, information out there talking about it but we chose not to look because sugar is sooooo delicious right but most importantly so addictive and the food companies know that. There has been studies with rats, sugar and cocaine and it turns out rats go back to sugar more often than to the cocaine. Crazy right!

So quite simply, you need to ask yourself some honest questions about how you feel in yourself? Do you feel tired all the time? Do you crave sugar all the time? Are you and your family getting every cough and cold there is around? Are you getting the stomach flu all the time? Chances are, there are many of us in this situation but instead of looking into why our immune system is not working properly, we look to blame an outside factor because this is just the easiest thing to do. Oh! The cold is around…everyone is sick at school….at work…

Our immune system lies on our digestive track and we are flooding our digestive track with processed sugars, hidden sugars all the time. The sugar then becomes bad bacteria inside us. To achieve optimum health, we need a balance between bad bacteria and good bacteria in our digestive track. By eating too much sugar, our digestive system gets off balance and then we have a problem. Our immune system stop working properly and we get sick.

But then you ask me? But we all need sugar don’t we? Our kids need sugar?Yes we do and they do it too. But we can get enough sugar from nature, like fruits, raw honey (in moderation), brown rice (carbohydrates), sweet potatoes, starchy vegetables, (will become sugar in our body too) etc…so rest assure you won’t die when you cut processed sugar out of your life or your kids life.

My kids have got more energy than ever, they haven’t been sick since we have been on this “new way of eating” and I am confident sugar or not eating sugar I must say is an important factor that contributes to their health.

So are you willing to try it out slowly but surely to cut out of sugar to see if your overall health improves?

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The power of meditation

I started meditating just after I started my chemo treatment. I thought meditating was another trend, another hype that the rich and famous talked about and the rest followed through but I was desperately trying to find ways to help my body and mind to heal. I needed something to help my mind to calm down, to sleep at times.

I started listening to guided meditations to help me sleep during the day but the more books I read about how to achieve physical and mental health, the body and mind connection, the more I read about the benefits of meditation.

I slowly started doing meditations that focussed on the breathe and for me I started learning how to give my mind a break, how to breath and focus on the moment.

I then signed up to the Headspace app and every day I would sit for 10 minutes doing a guided meditation that focussed on stress, calming, gratitude etc. I would sit religiously every day to meditate and most of the time I would feel silly, feel like I wasn’t achieving anything and getting anywhere.

Little I knew that small shifts were being made on my innerself…I started noticing the present moment a lot more by focussing on the feeling of the wind on my skin, listening to the birds chirping.

This was around a year ago…I have been meditating during this whole time…I can say that I did it more often than not most days in the last year.

Today I write you from my holidays…we have been away for a week today and I haven’t been meditating for over a week now. I have noticed that my mind can’t get into the present moment as quickly as when I was meditating daily.

All of a sudden I realised that all the work I have been doing was so worthy. When I can focus on the exact moment, I feel so much joy. I have realized that it is almost as if the ability to do that easily had to be taken away from me so I could value how important it is to meditate, to work on your mind, to exercise your brain muscles so you can fully live the present moment.