In my opinion, the “Chris Beat Cancer” movement is one of the biggest game-changers for people who are learning about cancer. Cancer is scary, and we get overwhelmed with worry and confusion about what to do, who to trust, and how much will it cost. The cool thing about Chris is that he breaks everything down into a simple and easy message of health and wellness. He isn’t spouting anything that is not shared by many in the mainstream and alternative health fields or cancer-writing authors, and that really comes down to having some common sense about your body. The big “mystery” of living a long and fulfilling life is to adopt the practices of trying to reduce your stress, reduce your chemical consumption, exercise more, and eat a diet of healthy foods that look like they did when they were picked off the tree, bush or out of the ground.
You do not have to spend your life savings to be healthy, or a fitness trainer and expensive classes. You do not need a personal chef to keep your foods nutritious and filled with special cancer fighting ingredients that only they can assemble. We live in an amazing time and space where “we” can do anything, find anything and order anything to create our own personal health and wellness routine.
Some of us like to be more physically active than others, while others may be interested in the number of servings of fruits and veggies they eat. Some of us meditate in structured classes that have like-minded people in them, while others mediate in the bathtub. Sometimes, the most challenging thing that we face about starting something new is the mental wall that we put up in front of us, as we think that doing anything is more complicated than doing nothing at all. This message is about as negative as it can get! Doing anything is going to get you healthier than you were the day before.
If you have the desire to be healthy and whole, then these practical and easy steps can ensure that you will be heading in the right direction. Make a resolution to do one or two of them, if you currently are not. And if you are already taking steps to be better, then make a “You Revolution” to do more. While we are upright and taking breath we are living, which means that we have work to accomplish on this planet. Life is not something that you endure until you die; it is a remarkable journey that enables you to touch the lives of others, and also lets you express yourself in umpteen different ways. While you are alive you are making a difference in your life, or the lives of those around you, or the lives of people yet to come. So while you are here, make the effort to love yourself by doing things to keep your physical and mental body happy, healthy and whole.
- Drink Lemon Water Each Morning – Upon rising in the morning, make a point to drink one cup of warm water with 1/2 of a fresh squeezed lemon in it. If you do not have fresh lemons in the house, then use one of those bottles of already-squeezed lemon juice. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but make a point to pick up some real lemons the next time that you go to the store.
- Eat More Fruit and Vegetables than Protein, Grains and Dairy – Plan to have a minimum of 10 fruits and/or vegetables each day…and not ones from a can! Do not walk out the door without having consumed a healthy portion of those fruits and vegetables in a smoothie that sets you up for the day. Then make sure that you take the rest of it with you so that you can drink more later on. If you have a juicer, use it! If you don’t have a juicer but have a blender, use it! If you don’t have either one of those, buy one! If you cannot afford a new one, get one from a garage sale or second-hand store, or trade one of your unused appliance for someone else’s. It is critical to your health and wellness that you consume “living” foods, the kind found in the produce section of your store, or from your store’s freezer section. If you are eating one, eat two. If you are eating four, eat five. If you are eating 10, eat more.
- Eat a salad for lunch and/or dinner – Again, we are talking about “live” food and not “dead” food like burgers, pastas and strange shakes that came out of a packet or container. Make a salad of your favorite items and enjoy it! Buy a healthy dressing or make one of your own. If you do not have the ingredients on hand, buy some the next time you go to the store. If you do not have the time to get them, buy a pre-made salad at a reputable restaurant or fast food drive-thru. The key is “healthy” salad, filled with vegetables, and is light on all the extras like bacon, heavy cheeses and meats. I would rather you bought a salad in a drive-thru than cook a frozen “diet meal” that contains pasta, heavy sauces and one or two pieces of tired-looking broccoli in it.
- Reduce the amount of gluten you eat daily – Most of the American diet relies on a variety of cheap glutenous products to flavor unnatural foods and help fill us up when we eat. We are used to two pieces of bread in a sandwich and lots of crunchy coating on our deep-fried fish, chicken nuggets and cheese curds. It is even more confusing when people are marketing breads as having 100% wheat. It is hard to give this up…I totally get that! We have a problem in my own household, where my husband things gluten-free is a code word for “disgusting!” If you are unsure about how to incorporate this into your life, start small. Buy a gluten-free bread from your grocery store. They usually are in the freezer section because they do not have preservatives in them. You can buy ones that look and taste like the soft bread that you may be comfortable with, but you can also find them filled with lots of nuts and seeds as well. Keep them in your fridge or freezer, as they will deteriorate quicker if left in your normal bread box/drawer. Perhaps you start with easy things your family might encounter at breakfast, like a quick go-to cereal that you can all enjoy. Or you learn how to make gluten-free pancakes, or use your new gluten-free bread for your French toast. Maybe you decide that you will stop using croutons on your salad, or you only buy unbreaded chicken from now on. If you are too busy to “think” about it, then start frequenting drive-thru’s that provide gluten-free options to bread, like “lettuce” wraps…which is my new favorite go-to when I am in a hurry. You can easily adapt this into your lifestyle, with minimal discomfort.
- Add healthy fats into your everyday life – Adding healthy fats in your diet is as easy as throwing avocado into your salad or smoothie, or throwing delicious nuts on your cereal, smoothie or yogurt parfait. Raw nuts and seeds are best, but don’t get hung up on the fact that it has to be raw. It is all about incorporating healthy changes to make you a better you! So when you make cookies for the family, throw in some walnuts. When you make a salad, there is nothing tastier than a handful of toasted pecans or almonds to give it a delicious “crunch.” At a minimum, add a healthy oil like coconut or olive oil to your pantry, even though it costs you more money. Do not be confused by claims that all those amazing “vegetable” oils are heart smart and healthy. They are cheaper products because they are made of bad ingredients that are chemically altered to last forever, and do not serve your body well. Move towards eliminating all bad oils and replacing them with good oils, but don’t worry if you are not 100% there yet…we’re taking baby steps to a better you!
- Take supplements and vitamins daily – Almost everybody is seriously lacking in nutrition, even if they are eating a healthy diet. If you are facing cancer or other health crisis, you are going to need to take extra vitamins and supplements to help your body get healthy. It is best to seek help from a Naturopath who can test your blood for some of these needs, but you can easily add extra nutrition into your life, in the form of pills and capsules, IV supplements, or through adding extra herbs into foods each day. Many people take additional items that are over and above their normal “daily” vitamin, such as extra Vitamin B, C and D, curcumin, selenium, resveratrol, garlic, fish oil, as well as whole and green food supplements. Do whatever you can to improve your immune system and keep yourself healthy. Find a good book or website that gives you a clear understanding of what would be healthy for your particular needs, or make a point to seek a professional opinion.
- Get out and get some kind of exercise – Walking, riding a bike, cross-country skiing, or even playing ball with your kids at the playground is good. Whether you like the quiet times of stretching at home or the noisy sounds of a room full of people in synchronized movement, there is something to be found for everybody. Incorporate extra ways to get move, like walking up the flight of stairs at work. Park your car farther away than normal, so you have to walk to your destination at the mall, doctor or hair stylist. Take a walk during your lunch or break. Make it a point to walk around and see people and nature, and really appreciate it! Jumping on a trampoline with your kids, or on a small in-house one that you keep in the basement are great! Do you like the idea of going outside and looking at the rising sun during a morning yoga routine, or are you more inclined to do simple yoga stretches and poses in your living room? Maybe you could sign up for a class? Could you meet friends to walk throughout your town? How about more sex? Get one of those pedometers that you attach to your pants and that tracks your mileage. Do something that causes you to feel your heart pumping a little more than normal. And if you can do more, do it!
- Find ways to reduce stress – Almost every person who has cancer can pinpoint a time in their life when they were overwhelmed with stress. Perhaps it was a problem at work, or a prolonged fight with a sibling, parent or spouse. Maybe you are wore down from non-stop caring for an elderly parent, or your child is unwell or dying. Prolonged stress can shut down your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to illness, disease and eventual death. Find easy ways for you to clear your mind of stress. Perhaps you would like meditating, reading poetry, listening to classical music, laying in a hammock, taking a calming bath, thinking positive thoughts, watching funny movies, expressing yourself through art, writing, photography, or whatever else trips your personal joy trigger. Stress is a killer, so you must find ways to let it go, and you definitely have to forgive those who have done things that have hurt you…they fester and grow into cancers!
This list does not include every single thing that others will find useful, but it does promote a theme of health and wellness that you can do yourself. We are unique and individual people, with free will and a bright future ahead of us. Making decisions that honor our beautiful bodies is going to honor us in the long run, and we are so worth honoring!