Whenever I get to retell my story, I always hear myself say, ‘I was the last person I thought would get cancer’.

I was diagnosed at 48 and had been a Dietitian for over 20 years. I had left the food pyramid behind years before, because I knew that what I ate mattered A LOT!

In this interview with Bev we talk about some big health issues that often get in our way of achieving optimal health.

Alcohol the unknown link to breast cancer.

I am still surprised at how many women do not know that the connection between alcohol and breast cancer is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer!

Yes, please review how much you drink. Alcohol is a socially acceptable drug, that we love using to relax and check out after a busy day. I know I did until the year I turned 50!

Your body views alcohol as a poison, because if you have too much you will die.

So when you drink, many processes in the body stop, so the liver can concentrate solely on breaking down the alcohol.

For women, this is a health hazard because estrogen is also broken down by the liver. When you drink, the liver has to stop estrogen metabolism so your estrogen levels start to rise. Plus the estrogen that is dumped back into the bloodstream, to be dealt with later, is the type of estrogen associated with female cancers.

Diet – yes it’s always about the food!

There are many studies showing that eating high-fat foods causes a woman’s body to make more estrogen, which can encourage cancer cell growth in the breast. Plus there is a correlation between the amount of red meat consumed and cancer.

So starting a process of reducing animal protein and increasing plant based proteins like beans and legumes is recommended. You can easily meet your protein requirements even if you never eat meat, fish or eggs again. But you need to be eating wholesome foods and taking a daily B12 supplement.

I am not proposing a strict plant-based whole foods diet, but I am suggesting a move in that direction will have many positive health benefits. This includes an increase in fibre, which is only found in plant foods.

Fibre is a magnet for toxins and estrogen, and helps to rid your body of them.

Stress the silent health hazard.

In recent years we have come to realize that what we think has an impact on our emotional and physical health. In fact, thinking negative or fear-driven thoughts causes our body to release stress hormones.

Those worrying, stressful or anxious thoughts cause your adrenal glands to release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, your fight or flight hormones.

The release of these stress hormones results in your heart beating faster, your blood pressure rising, the liver releases more glucose into the bloodstream, and your digestive system and immune system take a back seat until the crisis is over!

So what you eat and drink is at the cornerstone of your health, but stress can sometimes be the unknown factor that is holding you back from reaching your health goals.

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