Natural healing, natural wellness

Diet

Less Is More

I weighed myself today and discovered that I’m the lightest I’ve ever been for almost 20 years. All I have to do is shake off 4kg more and I’ll be back to what I weighed when I got married, when I looked pretty darned good. Yay!

Besides eating healthily, regular exercise is an absolute must if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Twice each day, I walk my dog Ginger for a minimum of 25 minutes each time. I like to walk briskly, which helps to burn calories as well as keep muscles, joints and other parts of the body well-oiled. At least every other day, I try to fit in another walk in-between of at least 25 minutes duration. Fortunately, there are several shopping malls just 10 to 20 minutes walking distance away from where I live, and there’s also a scenic river just across the road. Finding incentives to go for a walk is easy.

Don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t have iron-clad willpower. I still snack daily, and my nibbles include naughty things like chocolate, ice-cream and cookies besides healthier stuff like dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Hey, you’ve got to have quality of life! Of course, I’m particular about the quality of my snacks and go for top-quality ingredients with nothing artificial added, as far as possible. You can still lose weight without depriving yourself. Just be discerning about what you eat and exercise, exercise, exercise.

Being overweight causes all kinds of health problems, such as high cholesterol, high-blood pressure, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes and joint problems. It can also be a factor in cancer. Maintaining a good healthy weight is plain common sense, if you’d like to live long and well.

My next target is to lose another kilogram by Christmas, which is less than a month away. Wish me well!

What Protects Indians From Cancer?

I live in a very cosmopolitan area, a veritable United Nations. Practically every country is represented here. The largest community is Chinese, followed by the Malays (the people who were here before the Chinese came along) and then the Indians. Then there are Caucasians, Koreans, Japanese, Africans, Mongolians and so on.

When I visit the largest cancer center here, I can’t help but notice that most patients are Chinese, Malay, European or some other group, but I rarely ever see any Indians. Now, people the world over like to go on about how the traditional Japanese or Oriental diet seems to protect against cancer, but increasing numbers of Oriental Asians are getting cancer. This trend seems to go hand in hand with the adoption of a Westernised diet and lifestyle.

Cancer rates have risen dramatically in all Asian countries which have adopted a Westernised diet and lifestyle. Traditionally, Asians rarely ate meat and life was hard, so there was plenty of daily physical activity eg. manual work, walking everywhere. Regular exercise was a part of life. Now modern Asians eat chemical-tainted meat and other foods – including convenience / refined / processed foods – in EVERY meal, and we drive or are driven everywhere. We hardly even take the stairs, as we have elevators, escalators and travellators everywhere. Our air and environment is contaminated with chemicals.

Interestingly, Indians in my country have a very low incidence of cancer. Indians, on the whole, still prefer their traditional diet, which is characterised by lentils, beans, vegetables, lots of spices and -gasp! – lots of dairy products. They love milk, cheese, yoghurt, ghee (clarified butter) etc. in their savory dishes as well as their desserts, and their desserts use plenty of sugar. Non-vegetarian Indians like to eat unhealthy meats like mutton. Unlike Oriental Asians, their diet does not include any soy foods or seaweed, which are generally viewed as anti-cancer foods.

While Indians here may have low cancer rates, they tend to suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Like many other modern Asians, they have also become sedentary and more Westernised in their lifestyle. Nevertheless, there are elements in the traditional Indian diet which protect against cancer. I suspect it is the heavy consumption of legumes, lentils, beans, vegetables (including tomatoes, onions and cruciferous veggies like cauliflower), spices, and fermented dairy like yoghurt. Many of the foods listed here are known to be anti-estrogenic, aromatase inhibitors or, at worst, phytoestrogens.

Unfortunately, with urbanization, modern Indians are eating more meat and more foods tainted with chemicals, more convenience foods, more processed foods and more refined foods. They are eating more unnatural or fake foods, just like the Westerners, and they are exposed to more harmful chemicals in their environment, personal care products and household cleaning products. And they are nowhere near as physically active as their forefathers were. So cancer, along with other diseases, is on the rise amongst modern Indians.

The rising cancer statistics worldwide cannot simply be blamed on single factors like meat or dairy consumption, although commercially-farmed meats and dairy foods are certainly unhealthy. Dairy foods and even meat need not be harmful as along as they are not pumped full of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. Think about the Eskimos and the Mongolians. They had little access to plant food, if at all, so they had to rely on animal food – including dairy in the case of the Mongolians – for survival. The food they ate was clean and free from chemical contaminants. Everything was natural, unrefined and unprocessed.  Bear in mind that their traditional way of life was also very labor-intensive (EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!) and had virtually no exposure to chemicals. Cancer was virtually unknown in their traditional societies.

Obviously, the answer to being cancer-free lies in more than just diet, but that’s a good place to start. For me, I try to eat as naturally as possible. My diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes and I avoid refined and processed foods. Animal protein is mostly fish. I seldom eat meat. I do eat small quantities of dairy foods occasionally, and I do admit to sometimes having cookies or cakes. If I use sweeteners, I prefer it natural, like raw honey or maple syrup. The trick is to cut DOWN as far as possible, if you have difficulty cutting out certain foods completely. If I could afford it, I would eat organic all the way. I do what I can.

As for harmful chemicals in my personal care products and household care products, I’ve replaced whatever I can with products which are free from known carcinogens and other harmful ingredients. I get most of my products from Neways International as they have one of the widest ranges I’ve ever seen.

Oh, and I walk twice a day or more.

To keep cancer at bay, we need to get back to our roots and eat and live as naturally and cleanly as possible. Make a decision today to take a step in the right direction.

Anti-Estrogenic and Alkaline Diets

Gosh, this has been such a busy month! I haven’t had a chance to write my blog at all, although I’ve had plenty of thoughts to share. Amongst other things, I decided to fine-tune my diet by starting on an anti-estrogenic diet, to reduce estrogen levels in my body. As my breast cancer was estrogen-dominant, it was something I just had to try out. I’ll be getting my estrogen levels tested in a couple of weeks time, so let’s see if this diet works.

Meanwhile, I have been spending a lot of time shopping for fresh produce and preparing anti-estrogenic meals in the kitchen. When you can’t have any convenience meals or eat out, this is very time-consuming. When you can’t have any meat and other foods are disallowed, you have to be creative. But I’m determined to give this change to my diet my best shot, as it makes sense to avoid harmful hidden estrogens like xenoestrogens from hormones and other chemicals found in commercially-farmed, non-organic food, as well as personal and household products and the environment. Feeding my body with foods which will promote healthy and safe estrogen levels, including natural aromatase inhibitors, can only be good for me.

The bad estrogen hides in fat cells, so I’m glad to report that I lost 2kg in the first two weeks of starting this anti-estrogenic diet. That’s encouraging. I’m sooo looking forward to losing more weight, and keeping it off.

A couple of weeks ago, after researching the health benefits of having a more alkaline body – such as being more resistant to cancer -  I bought an alkaline water system, to turn acidic water into alkaline water. I also started introducing more alkaline foods into my family’s diet. You can begin to get more alkaline by doing simple things like putting lemon slices in your water pitcher, as citrus fruits like lemon and lime are very alkaline. I also squeeze either lemon or lime juice into my morning fresh juice mix everyday.

If your goal is natural healing and natural wellness, start with the first step in the right direction, such as following a more anti-cancer diet. Then take another step. Eventually, you’ll get there. Just keep doing your research, and don’t give up!