Wednesday, 19 March 2014

From 'Why me?' to 'What more do I want from life?'.

Today's post is written by Claire Timmerman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 24 years old. She has very kindly shared her story with us in the hope that it will inspire others to remain positive when facing a cancer diagnosis, and in life after treatment.

Claire and her husband hold Simply Sumptuous retreats in Orgiva, Southern Spain. One of the retreats - 'Women and Cancer' (7th - 14th June 2014) - is dedicated to women who have experienced cancer.

When I was 24, I was out having drinks with friends one night.  It was Friday 13th and all of a sudden I found myself doubled over in pain.  Not one to normally leave a bar early - well I was only 24 - I went home.  The weekend was spent with sporadic bursts of a similar abdominal pain until finally on Monday, I went to the doctor, who sent me to hospital that night. The next morning I found myself having emergency surgery for the removal of a large ovarian cyst – the size of a cantaloupe melon!  I never imagined that a few days later they would tell me that the cyst was part malignant – I had ovarian cancer.  It was a surreal feeling.  Even afterwards, when friends and relatives would be in touch and they would be in tears, it just felt odd. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

BIKEast 2014 Transylvanian Transfagarasan Cycling Adventure - are you up for the challenge?

Our Yes to Life bikers thought they had cracked it with the last leg of the BIKEast Challenge when they made it to Istanbul. They looked longingly at the photos of gleaming faces and reconnect with the euphoria whilst reminiscing that incredible journey. 

Well it’s time to oil up the bike chain, get back into the saddle and start training for the next big adventure with the Yes to Life team of bikers and a host of new bikers.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A Mid-Week Treat: Prawn and Mango Curry Recipe

Today's post is written by Jenny Phillips who specialises in supporting cancer patients with diet & lifestyle interventions. She herself recovered from breast cancer 10 years ago. 

Jenny has kindly shared a recipe with us which contains turmeric, a spice which can make a positive contribution to your health. 

The Golden Spice: a recipe to brighten up your day

Turmeric is the bright yellow spice most often used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It adds a golden colour and is frequently used along with other spices to create a curry flavour. In this easy to make recipe it is paired with cumin in a creamy coconut sauce. The mango adds a subtle sweetness.
The active ingredient within turmeric is curcumin, and this has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is one of the ten supplements discussed in a review by the Society of Integrative Oncology (1), who quote:
“Curcumin has been shown to prevent a large number of
cancers in animal studies. Laboratory data indicate that
curcumin can inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion,
angiogenesis, and metastasis.”
Although this curry will not deliver curcumin at therapeutic levels, eating this spice within meals increases its absorption, and may make a small but positive contribution to overall health.


Monday, 3 March 2014

Top Ten Nutrients and Lifestyle Tips to Support Mental Wellbeing

Today's post is written by Sophie Tully, the Nutrition Education Manager at Igennus Healthcare NutritionIgennus Healthcare Nutrition focus on providing natural means of improving health based on scientific research. 

Top Ten Nutrients and Lifestyle Tips to Support Mental Wellbeing

During cancer treatment and recovery, it can be extremely difficult to stay mentally positive and happy. Stress, anxiety and even depression are understandably common in cancer patients, yet we all know the benefits of a positive mental attitude when it comes to being healthy and able to fight illness.  Stress and low mood can deplete the body’s resources while it’s repairing the damage caused by increased stress hormones and inflammatory stimulation. As a result, it becomes much harder to focus on fighting cancer and getting better. But, fear not, there are a number of stress-busting foods and nutrients that can not only help to calm anxiety, reduce stress and lift your mood but can actually boost your immune system too.