Thursday, 28 April 2011

This Sounds Interesting

The Yes to Life Seminar Series
Cancer: Building an Integrative Treatment Programme

Saturday, 18 June 2011
9.30am – 1pm
University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW

Our top speakers from the world of integrative cancer care include
Patricia Peat RGN - Founder, Cancer Options
Dr Nicola Hembry – Specialist in Environmental and Nutritional Medicine
Dr Robert Jacobs – Specialist in Functional and Nutritional Medicine

Early bird tickets £10  standard tickets £12.50 - to book click here 

To find out about Yes to Life, visit

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

How to Drink Water

I went to see the nurse for a routine check-up this morning. She weighed me - you have to put on some weight for me – and took my blood pressure – low, you have to drink more water or you will pass out!

Want to have glowing skin? Want to relieve constipation? Want to lose weight? Want to think more clearly? Want to play at Wembley? The answer, it would seem, is always the same – drink more water! But mineral water is expensive and environmentally problematic. Tap water often just seems a bit blah. How do we force all this lovely, life enhancing H2O down our throats?

First, please always filter your water. It is worth installing a reverse osmosis filter in your kitchen if you can afford to.

Buy yourself a beautiful crystal or fancy glass water jug and a few gorgeous glasses. Fill the jug and add delicate flavourings:

* Slices of organic, unwaxed, lemon, orange or any other citrus fruit.

* A teaspoon of rosewater and the juice of half a lime.

* Thin slivers of cucumber (use a vegetable peeler to make elegant strips).

* Slices of ginger.

* A big sprig of fresh rosemary.

* Branches of fresh mint.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Move Along Please

No point in trying to fancy it up with euphemisms - this post is all about poo. 

Lying in bed causes bowel movements to slow down. Add opiate painkillers and dehydration into the mix and you create the perfect conditions for concrete guts.

Here are some tips on natural laxatives from my favourite naturopath, goddess of goodness Rebecca Edwards.

Increase your fluid intake. This means drink plenty of water – herbal teas count towards your daily fluid but caffeine is diuretic. If you let yourself become dehydrated your body just doesn’t have excess water that it wants to excrete. Hence faecal matter becomes very small, dry, hard and difficult to expel. Drinking lots of fluid ensures that you have a nice bulky stool. This may sound like something that you don’t want, that might block you up, but its actually part of the mechanism of excretion. Your digestive system is effectively a tube of muscle. As a bulky stool travels through it stimulates stretch receptors in the walls of the large intestine, causing a wave of contractions called peristalsis. So you need plenty of water to bulk up the stool to keep it moving and push it out.

Make sure you get plenty of soluble fibre. Fibre attracts water into the large intestine

Flax seeds are an excellent supplement to avoid constipation. Soak them in water. You’ll see they go all gelatinous and gooey. The same thing happens when you cook okra – it goes all slimy. It’s that gooiness that you want. Mucilaginous things like flax seeds, slippery elm, psyllium husks or okra are all what we call bulking laxatives because they attract water into the stool and bulk it up.

Bran is often mentioned but it’s a bit drying. It’s insoluble so it doesn’t attract water into the stool in the same way.

Stimulant laxatives are supplements that stimulate the contraction of muscles by causing irritation. Senna is a well-known example. You can take in a tea, such as Laksetee or a tablet. It’s useful for an emergency like being laid up in hospital.  It is not advisable to use stimulant laxatives long term because they will eventually make your bowel lazy.

Liquorice is a mild natural laxative that is not irritating.

Rebecca always recommends making sure that you are getting sufficient magnesium. Magnesium is involved in muscle fibre relaxation which is necessary for peristalsis - the contraction and relaxation of the large intestine. Magnesium is good for lots of things. Its relaxing effect on the musculoskeletal system in general means that it helps us sleep well. There are several ways of taking it. The best way is in food: it’s in dark green vegetables, nuts seeds and legumes. These should be a major part of everybody’s diet but unfortunately they tend to be superseded in favour of convenience foods. You can take magnesium as a supplement in tablet or powder form, or as an oil that you spray onto your body or by adding Epsom salts to a bath. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of tablets that you’re taking, there are lots of ways to get magnesium.

For an appointment with Rebecca Edwards call: 020 3075 1006

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Top Chemo Glamour Tips

At first, you may feel that you want to decline every social invitation. And that is perfectly fine. You are ill and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to.

Cancer really knocked my confidence. I shied away from groups of people, particularly people that I didn’t know. At first I was nervous to go out. Would my turban slip off in the middle of dinner? Would people snigger at my wig? Would I suddenly throw up all over the floor? Would I find myself feeling exhausted and be unable to get home easily?

These are real considerations. Little by little I learned how to pace myself and handle daily challenges. My confidence grew. One day I realised that I was ready to go to a party. But I needed the right outfit, one that would be comfortable yet glamorous, an outfit that would say “here is a self-posessed, stylish woman,” not “Hey! Look at that poor cancer victim”

Here are some tips:

If you’ve had surgery your body image has probably suffered. Forget about the Dolce & Gabana corset dress. Choose something loose and drapey that uses beading or sequins to catch the eye. Think palazzo pants with a silk shirt or a beaded jersey dress. Chikara creates stylish asymmetric clothing that go a long way to disguising uneven boobs.  A long silk kaftan will cut a dash a black-tie event.

Chemotherapy can cause sore feet. Patent leather, jewelled or satin pumps are every bit as glamorous as six-inch stilettos.

A silk or velvet turban is an absolute showstopper. Glam it up with a glittering brooch.

Keep the spotlight on your face and neck by wearing dramatic lipstick and chandelier earrings.

And remember: if you feel ill or tired or overwhelmed you can simply leave. Nobody will think you’re being rude.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Don'tya Just Love London?