A year ago I sat on my couch during one of my normal sleepless nights. My father was very ill in hospital and writing my article Cancer – There Just Aren’t Enough Swear Words was as distracting as it was therapeutic during some of those long nights.
Fast forward a year and thankfully Dad is still with us. The rollercoaster of ups, downs and plummeting lows continues and takes us all along for the ride. Things can turn in an instant and the new feeling of “comfortable” comes with a certain elevated level of stress that has become the new normal.
Like it or not, being graced with the presence of the shitty Cancer Fairy changes your perspective. Health becomes more important than ever. Alongside our concern for Dad there are also some recurrent health issues surrounding both my son and I. I’ve started to really look at what’s going on around me that might be contributing to some of the problem.
There is such a ridiculous “epidemic” of health issues amongst the community. Cancer diagnoses, allergies, food intolerance and behavioural problems, among others. A few of which my little family is already experiencing. I’m sick of the countless trips to specialists – to gastroenterologists, hematologists and all the other “ologists”! As much as I believe in conventional medicine it’s becoming clearer than ever that prevention is better than a cure.
There are times in life when I’m grateful for the conveniences that modernisation has provided us and there are times when I curse humans and their intervention. Nowhere has that become more evident than in the food we consume. We’ve always eaten well as a family, very limited takeaways and much fresh fruit and vegetables, but because of the health issues above it’s resulted in me delving a bit deeper into what is going into our bodies. In particular the tiny bodies of my children.
I’ve spent many hours researching food. Researching food preparation practices. Researching farming, additives, preservatives and chemicals. Completing eye-opening food courses. Whilst I’ve undertaken all of this with a healthy dose of my typical scepticism, the fact of the matter remains..Even when I’ve been feeding my family well, our food industry has become more about business than nutrition. Even “healthy foods” have artificial stuff smuggled in and disguised so well that even when you think you’re doing the right thing, it seems almost impossible to avoid.
Quite simply, stealing the words of Albert Einstein “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know”.
The links between food – in particular preservatives and additives (and heaven knows what else) and cancer, asthma, allergies, intolerance and behavioural issues are strong and shouldn’t be ignored anymore. I know I can’t stick my head in the sand any longer
We all lead hectic and busy lives which makes a realisation like this seem so overwhelming and inconvenient. Nobody wants to make their lives harder or their job list even longer. But once again prevention is better than a cure. The stress involved in a lifestyle change is less than the stress involved with battling a health issue, particularly a terminal one.
Just as important as the food you consume is the environment around you. The chemicals you are spraying on your kitchen benches. The cookware you prepare your food in. The more you learn, the more you know… and once you know, how much can you ignore it? Can you continuously watch your child battle asthma every winter, or gut discomfort, or chronic mood swings and not consider that what’s on their plate might make up some of the problem?
Apart from furthering my study into nutrition as well as alternative therapies, I’m launching my family back to the basics, albeit in the most convenient, time effective way where possible! To try to blend the “modern mum” with the “informed mum”.
As we progress through the influx of information and put it into practice, I’ll share it with you here so you can come along for the ride if you like!