"I am opposed to heart attacks and cancer like I am opposed to sin."
--Mary Lasker, quoted in The Emperor of Maladies
I crossed over into 2011 engrossed in reading the above referenced book. It is a sobering, comprehensive, thought-provoking, brilliantly written book. It is easily one of the better non-fiction books I've ever read on any subject. It is basically a history of cancer and cancer treatment, but deeper than that it invites one into reflection on the nature of health and the spiritual/emotional/physical battles that are happening daily across the board -- patient, doctor, researcher, fund raiser-organizer, congress person, parent. loved one, child. One in four of us will experience cancer at some time in our lives. There is still no cure. The fact is, we have made better progress in defeating HIV/AIDS.
I continue to believe that the best defense against cancer (and disease in general) is adopting a lifestyle that is a proactive offense in preventing the occurrence of illnesses. To this end, here are ten suggestions to begin incorporating into your life in this new year. If you are already doing them, do more of the same.
- Include more fiber -- 20-40 gm a day.
- Drink water -- 1/3 of your body weight in fluid ounces every day
- Eat more vegetables than fruit, but eat more of both than anything else. Organic is best, but just do it.
- Exercise - don't lay down if you can sit, don't sit if you can stand, don't stand it you can walk. EVERY day do something active. Interval training is appearing to be far more effective than most other types of exercise. This is doing short rapid bursts of intense exercise interspersed with slow-downs. Pedometers that measure steps will keep you honest: 7,000 steps plus a day.
- Incorporate the following anti-cancer supplements/foods/spices into your daily routine: turmeric, green tea, fish oil, and Vitamin D,
- Delete from your diet: SUGAR in every form, food dyes, food preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG.
- Sleep -- get enough for you to feel rested -- each person's need for it varies. The majority need 6-8 hours. Some need less, some more. Sleep in the DARK - as dark as possible.
- Check in with and connect with your spirit in some way multiple times a day.
- Be positive and look at the half-FULL glass, don't dwell on the empty parts. Help others do the same and if there are chronically "toxic" people in your life who can't or won't change their attitudes look for ways to minimize their presence in your life.
- Learn to say no to stress. Most of the stress we have in our lives we have introduced ourselves. If you are consciously stressed due to factors outside your control, then it is all the more important to be taking care of yourself and not agreeing to add more activity and more "velocity" to your already packed schedule or daily agenda. Find down time and make it a priority to do the things that feed and nourish your peace and energy. Rather nasty illnesses are stalking those who don't heed these words.
I hope your new year has gotten off to a good start and pray blessings on all who read these words!