Thursday, 5 November 2015

'Eat to Outsmart Cancer' by Jenny Phillips

Today’s blog post, from our intern Olivia Tilton, is a review of Jenny Phillips’ Book, ‘Eat to Outsmart Cancer: How to create optimal health for prevention and recovery’.

I have a confession to make. Scratch that... I have two confessions to make. Firstly, I have only recently come across the wonderful nutrition marvel that is Jenny Phillips. Bit late on the band wagon, wasn’t I? The second confession is, I found her by accident. Back in Leicester, before I started my internship at Yes To life, I dragged my Auntie to a nutrition talk one evening and Jenny Phillips was a speaker. Long story short, I am now fully onboard with the oracle that is Jenny. Her book was a great place for me to start to enter into her world of nutrition and fighting cancer.

Jenny’s journey started at 39 when diagnosed with grade 4 breast cancer. At the time, she was working part time in a management training company for which she would often work in the evenings and running training workshops and presentations away from home. Cheese and onion toasties were a firm favourite along with a few glasses of wine come dinner time. 

After diagnosis, a treatment plan was devised- chemotherapy to reduce the tumour size and then surgery. At the same time, a colleague introduced her to the Penny Brohn Centre in Bristol, opening her eyes to the world of complementary and alternative therapies. This, and reading Jane Plant’s ‘Your live in Your Hands’ and Suzannah Oliver’s ‘The Breast Cancer Prevention and Recovery Diet’, sparked such an interest in food as medicine and lifestyle as health, that she has gone on to study for a Degree in Nutritional Medicine and has since helped patients for the past 5 years in regaining optimum health through nutrition. 
You can instantly feel the want to spread her knowledge, as she states “The pull to turn this knowledge towards cancer is now so great, that I have to share this information with you. I write this to inspire you, whatever your situation, to see through this commercialised world in which we live, and embrace a lifestyle in harmony with nature.” The further in you delve into this book, the more this want and need becomes infectious. 

The book is divided into three sections so it is really easy to dip in and out of as you please. Section one is aimed at helping the reader achieve a better understanding of cancer, section two covers all that you need to know to make healthy decisions around food and finally, section 3 considers health in the context of key biochemical processes: inflammation, digestion, stress, energy production and hormonal balance.

You might read that and think, ‘blimey, that all sounds a bit too scientific for me!’. Yes, Jenny uses
her scientific knowledge to really get down to the nitty-gritty facts and figures and explores in depth the effects of food on the body, but this is all while reflecting back on her own experiences creating a really grounded and realistic take on approaching nutrition and cancer. She encourages you throughout making you feel supported the whole way.
 “There is no pressure to make drastic changes to your lifestyle, or to feel stressed about what may have gone before. This way of thinking should open you up to a sense of empowerment, where you can make step changes towards regaining your health at your own pace. Keep a sense of perspective, and draw on those around you for support. There are only benefits to be obtained from treating your body in a way that means it is well nourished, gently exercised and emotionally sound”. This book truly is like sitting down over a cup of tea and discussing your options with a friend.

Erm... YUM!!!!!
One of the best aspects of the book is that Jenny manages to make the whole lifestyle change so tangible. Within section 2, she includes an “Outsmart Cancer Shopping List”, a wide variety of easy recipes for you to try yourself, and also a really useful 7 Day Meal Planner to help you get organised and makes the whole “what shall we have for dinner” 5pm panic a thing of the past. If you’ve already read the book, you may also hazard a guess as to why this is my favourite section... “those Chocolate Brownies, maybe?!” I hear you ask... They may have had something to do with it. Okay, okay you got me. It was definitely those brownies that did it. You’ve got to try them.

‘Eat to Outsmart Cancer’ is the perfect starter pack for anyone with cancer, those in remission, or anyone looking at making positive and tangible changes to creating optimum health for themselves. 

To purchase your copy of 'Eat to Outsmart Cancer' please click here

Jenny also posts recipes every month on our blog. Click here to have a look!

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