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N is for Nourish

“Nourish” is defined as:-

– to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health and good condition

I started to write about N for nutrition but started to struggle as a) I know nothing about nutrition from a professional point of view and b) it became more about what makes me feel good than anything else!

Nourish sounds far more of a comforting and overall wellbeing word…nourishment for the body and soul! It has an element of luxury that I am all about! This is a far more in keeping way of describing how I have approached my wellbeing since being diagnosed. I don’t always follow the rules of what I “should” or “shouldn’t” do or eat but I do eat and do what nourishes me from a physical and mental perspective. What is necessary to grow, be healthy and in good condition? In this sense “or other substances” I am taking a broad interpretation of and expanding to mean basically “or other things”!

I am a firm believer in nourishing all aspects of my health from the inside out. This is definitely a piece of writing for saying yes to all the good stuff in life 😊 In other words go fill your cup!

I have recently started to really enjoy food and cooking but I find dietary advice overwhelming and often conflicting especially for someone with cancer. There is so much online and in books for someone like me who continually worries about their body weight, appearance and physic. As a post – menopausal women with cancer the advice is endless – “high protein, low carbs”, “clean eating”, “raw eating”, “avoid sugar”, “avoid dairy”, “don’t eat too much red meat”, “don’t eat too much fish”, “take supplements”, “eat fruit but not citrus”, “ but don’t be restrictive”……..(insert mind blown emoji). I actually can’t count the number of food plans I have followed or healthy eating books I have read over the years in search of the perfect balance of healthy eating but also keep weight down.

I understand for some people that very restrictive diets work (and in some instances have lead to cancer remission) but every cancer is different and every person is different so it is very hard to find situations similar to mine. Some cancers are hormonal and can be controlled in some way by diet and restricting certain types of food that “feed” the cancers but mine is not one.

So, like everything with me, I follow my own path and basically follow the mantra of “everything in moderation”! Probably a nutrition expert’s worst nightmare but I essentially eat (and drink) what I enjoy but (mostly) on a balanced level.

I do, however, try to eat organically as much as possible…. pesticides, chemicals, hormones etc do freak me out especially with Ruby. My mum was always careful with our diet to give us the best chance possible with our food so I try to do the same for Ruby. She pretty much eats everything we give her and only draws a line at olives! I’m proud of how she will try anything and rarely turns her nose up at new things.

Food has become a hobby of mine in the last few years. I enjoy reading cookery books and coming up with a “menu” or food plan for the week based on ideas I have picked up. This started as a money saving exercise so that I planned our meals and ordered only for that plan online. Then we didn’t overspend by walking around a shop and picking up things that looked good but were of no relevance to the week’s eating. It still is about budgeting but also it has become my routine and I enjoy finding new ideas for each week and introducing new meals to Ruby as her tastes grow.

I enjoy clean, healthy food but wine and cheese are my absolute vices and I refuse to give them up! I have recently dropped drinking wine in the week – something even my oncologist noted was a big step for me! I really, really enjoy a nice red in the winter, a mulled wine after skiing or a crisp cold sauv in the summer but my sleep patterns and my bank balance have thanked me for the reduction in consumption…blurgh so sensible in my older age! It has also contributed a far less bloated tummy….god damn the hormones (or lack of them!).

Living in New Zealand is heaven for those who like wine….so many good wines made here and some awesome wineries to visit. My hen-do was a winery tour…my friends know me well! I may have cut down but it is certainly something I won’t cut out – I enjoy it and enjoyment as I see it is nourishing. I admire the sober amongst us but it is a step too far and when facing a shorter than expected life…I am going to do the things I love…wine being one of them 😊

Nourishment for me also comes from doing things that are good for the soul…in a different way to “L for Living” that reflected on doing things for enjoyment and getting the most out of life, this is things that feel good, keep me healthy and in good condition but are a little luxurious and personal to me. Facials, massage, yoga, pilates, PT, time out reading books…”me time”. That precious time (and rare alone time) that is just about me for a moment but also it is the moments with my family and friends that I cherish - like Sunday roasts, movie nights, days at the beach, Christmas, time in the spa, visits to hotpools or time away to just enjoy each other’s company. All warm my heart and give me the fuzzy feel good vibes.

I feel so good when I am surrounded by people I love just doing simple things like eating good food, enjoying a nice wine and chatting away…most of the best memories I have of my family and my friends involve that exact scenario (or Christmas – ask anyone I am obsessed with that time of year – but twinkly lights, good food, people and cheesy music fill my cup)

I have become more aware since - you know, the time is running out thing - of what makes me feel good and what doesn’t. Feeling energetic, healthy, strong and fit are so important and not all of that is physical or to battle my illness…I am a better mum if I sleep properly, I am more patient if I have a few hours to do something for myself in a week, we have a better marriage if we have time to focus on each other, we are a better family if we turn off all the distractions and sit in the spa together chatting about our day. I am a better daughter for being able to spend my drive to work every morning talking to my mum and dad. These are the things that nourish me, they make me healthier, I grow as a person from those around me and I am in good condition as a result.

Ruby, as you grow, please find the things and people that are good for you, keep you healthy and challenge you to grow physically and mentally. Do everything that keeps you in good condition in all respects and keep away from toxicity. Fill your bucket everyday and if anyone tries to drain it stay well clear, life is too short to let them. The things that nourish you are personal to you and you will find what they are but remember to eat good food, enjoy the wine (in moderation), say yes to some luxuries and make the most of the people you love. Who knows maybe one day you will love the olives too…probably once you have been back to Italy (that’s where I learned to love them) xx


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