It's been a strange week of highs and lows within my family. I've had some really hopeful news regarding my continued work with cancer survivors and sadly, my sister-in-law (younger than me) has been diagnosed with a form of MS (multiple sclerosis). A diagnosis she was expecting; but as many of us remember only too well, hearing the words from the doctor, even when expected comes as an awful blow.
She has already set her mind to both understand her illness further and to keep herself as fit and healthy as possible. We chatted about nutrition and it started a train of thought that has become this week's blog!
As a fitness instructor the phrase I probably hear more than any other is " I don't have the time....."
As a nutritional advisor the phrase I hear the most is " I don't have the time..."
And I do sympathize. I'm extremely busy and if I couldn't prepare the family's daily breakfasts and packed lunches on 'auto-pilot' I wouldn't have the time either.
The presumption seems to be (for many) that a diet that will suit the cancer patient on chemotherapy could not be inflicted upon the other members of the family! Similarly, a diet appropriate for a diabetic must surely be too restrictive for a non-diabetic. An alkalising diet for someone suffering from a peptic ulcer may be lacking, or wrong for a 'well' person.
This is the important bit to remember…
The advice that I give in these blogs is general; nothing is controversial and the suggested foods should be beneficial to all. The use of supplements or the practice of eliminating food groups should only be considered when advised by a health professional ( doctor/ dietician/ nutritional therapist)
Talking to my sister in law, I wanted to keep it simple; she has enough to get her head around. These were my recommendations:
cut out sugar as much as possible
cut out processed foods
drink plenty of water
keep meals small, frequent and balanced as opposed to missing meals and having a huge dinner!
reduce high levels of animal protein in favour of plant based protein (quinoa, pulses etc)
eat a rainbow of fruit and veg (unless any colon issues)
This approach to food will benefit her whole family including her son who has a food intolerance. The same style of eating will help those of us keeping cancer at bay, or building ourselves up after chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It will aid the prevention of illnesses in those healthy people among us.
To conclude, it isn't necessary to prepare a different meal for everyone in the household. Following some very simple guidelines to healthy eating will help everyone. See this as your opportunity to help yourself AND those you love! You'll soon be cooking and preparing these simple meals for everyone on autopilot too.
Taking control is a good feeling!