Yes to Life is inspired by a vision of a different way of responding to cancer. We support integrative cancer care which allows individuals to ally standard care with the best of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
This blog aims to share any information the Yes to Life team discovers along the way that we think would be beneficial for our supporters to read.
At our last Outsmart Cancer
workshop, these courgette fritters were a hot favourite, and they are totally
delicious and both gluten dairy free.
Ingredients (to make 4 fritters):
1 large courgette
½ onion, peeled
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
40g gram flour( for gluten free)
or plain flour
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1. Grate the courgette and onion
using a food processor or mandolin; put it in a bowl. Press the garlic into the
mixture. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables and leave for at least 15 mins to
extract the liquid.
2. Drain using a fine sieve to
remove as much liquid as possible.
3. Return the veg to a dry bowl
and add the flour, coriander and black pepper.
4. Mix well. Form into balls and
flatter into patties
5. Heat oil and fry the fritters
gently for 5 minutes on each side.
6. Serve with a large side salad
for a delicious lunch for two, or a yoghurt dip with grated cucumber as a
Jenny Phillips is a qualified nutritionist and author of Eat
to Outsmart Cancer. Find out more at www.InspiredNutrition.co.uk
Artists inspire us all to look beyond the veil of cultural and linguistic
limitations. Human consciousness is evolving; the artificial boundaries
between art and science are rapidly being erased. Using the imagination
and tapping into mystical, magical themes, the Visionary Artist transcends this
physical world, opening a doorway into other realms we all recognise.
latest mystical, more esoteric artworks are a reflection of the Spiritual
Awakening I had whilst on my journey through Cancer. My eyes were opened to the
more esoteric and sacred meaning of art and how it has been used since time
immemorial to illustrate this phenomenon.
realised art awakens the soul and illuminates the spiritual path of each person
by providing access to the highest mystic truths. It provides a bridge between
the material, creativity and spirituality.
helps us recognise and integrate ALL wisdom paths that expand consciousness and
provide personal contact with the Divine. When I paint my visionary artwork, I often
find I have channelled the images from somewhere else! The Spiritual journey
isn’t ‘owned’ by any one religious faction or cult - it is an Al-chemical
process experienced by the Soul of every individual.
Gustav Jung said:
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no
matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become
enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness
of the Soul can only be learned through experience, and self- examination so
‘Go within; and discover who you are, why your feel the way you do, and what
actions you intend to take to alter your life’s path. Your EMOTIONS ARE the key
I live in the beautiful
New Forest, nestled in the South of England, so I am very close to the
coast, but also a stone’s throw away from the forest where ponies roam free. I
started painting at a very young age. I
would walk along the beach, pick up stones then take them home and make them
into characters with paint. My friends all liked them and soon I was making
them as little gifts. I would sit for hours and paint anything and everything.
No surprise my favourite subject at school was Art, and I just continued on
into adult life, painting just for pleasure. I was asked by friends and family
to paint their pets, and in my first job, I was always the one making banners
for the baby showers, or farewell messages to hang above the desks of
colleagues at work on special occasions. Commissions for Pet Portraits
increased, I began to paint Wild Animals but often dipped my toe into the world
How life changed when my daughter was diagnosed with Leukaemia
married in 1984, and had my first child, a little girl in 1985. My second child
was born in 1987, a little boy, but in 1989 life changed when my daughter was
diagnosed with Leukaemia at the tender age of 4.
years, she was in and out of hospital receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy
and our priorities changed. In 1991, the doctors performed a lumbar puncture to
find out if the cancer had gone, but sadly my daughter (aged 6 now) had
relapsed and the cancer had spread to her brain and spine, so her chances of
survival were very much reduced.
We were told, the only hope was for her to have a Bone Marrow Transplant, so we
were all tested to see if any of us matched.
Miraculously, my little son (her brother) who was 4 was a perfect match,
and the doctors prepared them both for the transplant in
1992. My amazing son saved my daughter’s life and words
cannot convey the gratitude and love I feel for them both.
traumatic 8 months in isolation, my beautiful daughter eventually began to show
signs of recovery despite many setbacks. I am pleased to say she did survive and
went onto live a full and happy life well into her early 20’s. She went abroad
on two conservation projects and even sky dived for charity putting all her
childhood trauma behind her. She is one of the longest surviving Bone Marrow
Transplant children in the U.K and life returned to ‘normal’ for a while.
all the stress took its toll on my health and I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer
in 2010. After 2 cycles of chemotherapy
and surgery plus invaluable advice from amazing people in holistic and
alternative medicine, I am still here to tell the tale.
the chemotherapy and radiotherapy my daughter received as a child left its
legacy. On December 6th 2011, she
collapsed from a sudden and devastating stroke which has left her disabled.
Despite all the odds, she managed to survive again and today she is walking and
talking. Stroke is a known late effect of cancer treatment, something few
people like to acknowledge or talk about.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2013, my husband was diagnosed with Oesophageal
Cancer. Unfortunately he didn’t
survive. He died on 6th December 2013, two years to the day that our
daughter had her stroke.
Life has been exceptionally difficult at times, but I can honestly say, Art and
painting has kept me sane.
90’s, as my daughter was recovering from her bone marrow transplant, I was
asked to create 3 CD covers for the hard rock/blues guitarist, Bernie Marsden
his band The Snakes. He was one of the original core members in the band
Whitesnake and wrote the hit song “Here I Go Again” and co-wrote “Fool For Your
Loving” along with many others. Hampshire
Brewery commissioned me to design beer bottle labels, winning them the Camra
Award for that year and in 2002, I won the overall first prize for ‘Paint a
Wildlife Subject’ at the Business Design Centre, London.
joined Marwell International Art Society in Hampshire and the Society for the
Art of Imagination, exhibiting at a number of prestigious galleries around the
world including: the Mall Gallery in London, H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyere,
Switzerland, Renaze in France and recently in October 2015, the Ecomusée du
Fier Monde in Montreal, Canada. I continue to exhibit in local
galleries in and around Hampshire and Dorset UK when I can.
RI = Reference Intake, a government derived minimum daily intake.
Makes 16 cookies
50 g sultanas, steeped in warm water or green tea
50g peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
125g ground almonds
75g dessicated coconut
100g buckwheat flour
¼ tsp rock or Himalayan salt
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Pour warm water or green tea over the sultanas and leave them to plump up for 20 minutes or more.
2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Grease a flat baking tray.
3. In a small pan, add the butter, peanut butter and honey. Stir and melt the ingredients over a gentle heat. Do not overheat.
4. Mix the dry ingredients – ground almonds, coconut, buckwheat, salt, ginger and Bicarb – in a large bowl.
5. Remove the butter mixture from the heat and stir it into the dry ingredients. Mix in the sultanas and beaten egg and stir until the mixture forms a cookie dough.
6. Take a desert spoonful of the mixture, roll into a ball and flatten into a cookie shape.Place the cookies onto the baking tray.
7. Bake at 190 degrees for 12 minutes or until a golden brown.
Per cookie: Protein 4.1g, Carbohydrate 9.8 g of which sugars 5.1 g, fat 13.8 g of which saturates 6.1 g, Fibre 2.9 g, Kcals 187
Per 100g: Protein 11g, Carbohydrate 27.6g of which sugars 14g, fat 37.4g of which saturates 16.4 g, Fibre 7.9 g, Kcals 505
Jenny Phillips is a qualified nutritional therapist and author of Eat to Outsmart Cancer – visit www.InspiredNutrition.co.uk for info
Winter is often a particularly tough time for the body. First,
we find ourselves fending off a barrage of bugs that attack from every angle, then
comes Christmas - and the season of indulgence often leaves us feeling below
par and deficient in more than just sunlight!
To help you stay healthy this Christmas, it really is
important to make sure your diet is rich in healthy, natural foods and that you
get outside in daylight as often as possible. In addition, there are a number
of nutrients that can help you stay feeling your best throughout the festive
season, all of which have extra cancer fighting properties.
Here are my top 10 nutrients for feeling your best at
The ‘active’ ingredient in the delicious
spice turmeric, curcumin is one of those amazing and powerful nutrients that seem
to help almost all systems and functions of the body. With
anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidant properties, adding some turmeric to
foods containing fat or taking a good quality, solubility-enhanced supplement
is an excellent way
to help boost your immune system and support your body’s
ability to detoxify. Curcumin has also been heavily researched in cancer studies
and has been shown to help reduce treatment
resistance and side effects and
boost cancer cell sensitivity to treatment. If you are undergoing treatment, it
is best to stop taking this for a day or so before and after to a
void possible interactions.
recommendation – check out Longvida Curcumin, a highly bioavailable and
excellent curcumin product available soon from Igennus.
Good levels of Vitamin D are essential for
optimal health and since we don’t get adequate sunlight in the UK in winter, a
supplement containing 400-1000IU is an important addition to any
regime. Vitamin D’s role in immune health, mood balance and maintaining healthy cells and bones make it an essential
addition to my top 10 list. Significant research also links
vitamin D to
reduced inflammation and improved cancer outcomes. Many people with cancer have very low levels of Vitamin D so make sure your GP tests your levels and that
you supplement to
achieve 50-100ng/ml of blood.
– we love BetterYou Vitamin D oral sprays, but many of the Igennus fish oils also contain excellent doses of vitamin D.
Healthy fats are really important at this
time of year as the immune system, inflammatory pathways and our mental health
and cell structure all rely on the right balance of fats to function properly.
In winter we tend to crave ‘comforting’ carbohydrate-rich foods and at
Christmas we tend to overindulge in sweets, treats and omega-6 rich party
foods. This can dramatically upset
the delicate balance of long-chain fats in the
body. Low levels of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are also very common in people
with cancer, so if you are not eating oily fish regularly (at least 2-3 times
per week), it is important that you take a good quality EPA-rich fish oil to
top up your long- chain omega-3 levels. Testing fatty acid levels via a simple
blood spot, home kit is a great way to ensure you are getting the right type
and amount of healthy fats in your
diet. Opti-O-3 kits available from Igennus come with a free consultation to
discuss your results!
recommendation – Igennus Pharmepa Restore or Pharmepa Maintain. If you are
vegetarian, Echiomega, a natural plant source of SDA which supports EPA levels
better than flax seed oil, is for you.
The gut contains a delicate and highly
diverse ecosystem that works within us to help regulate mood, immune function
and detoxification, as well as nutrient digestion and absorption. Much like
vitamin D and omega-3s, having unhealthy gut bacteria levels has been linked
with everything from clinical depression and Alzheimer’s to obesity and yes,
cancer. A really good probiotic supplement, together with lots of lovely fibre-rich
foods can help ensure your digestive health is looked after, whilst also helping
to protect against the potential negative effects of an over-indulgent festive
season, or cancer treatment, on your digestive health.
recommendations – we are big fans of the work they do over at Optibac
Probiotics. Supplementing may not be
suitable for those with cancers affecting the blood.
(de Moreno de LeBlanc, Matar, & Perdigón, 2007;
Fotiadis, Stoidis, Spyropoulos, & Zografos, 2008; Khan, Khurshid, Khan,
& Alshamsan, 2013)
Low energy is a common complaint in the
winter months and often a significant side effect of cancer treatment. Increased
alcohol consumption and poorer nutrition over the Christmas period can also leave us feeling less fresh and full of beans than normal, and can even affect
sleep quality. Ubiquinol, the active form of coenzyme Q10, is a fantastic
addition to a healthy supplement regime if you do struggle with energy levels.
Ubiquinol is also a potent antioxidant that helps support high oxidative stress
and has been shown to help fight many mechanisms involved in cancer
recommendations – VESIsorb Ubiquinol – available from Igennus.
A plant-based diet is consistently linked
with health and happiness and research suggests we should ideally be consuming 10+ portions of fruit and vegetables
daily. Whilst this may not be realistic for many of us, making sure we eat as
many different veggies as possible and a portion or two of fruit each day is
essential for maintaining a healthy mood, immune system, warding off illness
and fighting disease. Choosing foods that are all colours of the rainbow and
eating both raw and lightly cooked veg is the best way to nourish your body and
stay healthy this winter. Try to get at least 5 cupped handfuls of fruit and
veg every day. If you are fighting cancer then you may wish to try increasing
your intake of lycopene (cooked tomato), resveratrol (red grapes), sulforaphane
(broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veg), pomegranate and green
tea as well as eating lots of herbs and spices, as these are all reported to help
recommendations – try to eat a rainbow of
organic (ideally home-grown), seasonal fruits and veg, getting as many
different types as you can daily. Check out Pukka Herbs and Amazing Grass for
powdered plant complexes that can be added to water if your appetite is low.
Terra Nova and Wild Nutrition also do some lovely plant-derived nutrient
complexes in capsules.
B-vitamins are essential for energy
production and metabolism but also play an important role in combatting
oxidative stress and helping protect against high emotional and physical
stress. B-vitamins are naturally derived from green vegetables, beans and pulses
and good quality animal proteins, but for some people topping up with a good
quality, pre-methylated, highly bioavailable B-vitamin complex, is the easiest
way to get the extra support needed during times of added stress.
recommendations – Igennus Super B-complex.
(Audhya, 2012; Mamede et al., 2011; Plazar &
8 8)Beta glucans
If you do find yourself at the mercy of
every bug and infection going around, then including lots of the immune-boosting
beta glucans in your daily diet can help. These are found in high quantities in
oats and certain mushrooms including reishi, shiitake and maitake. Beta glucans
have been heavily researched as a cancer treatment with lots of very positive
results. Beta-glucans are also great for helping to regulate blood sugars,
something we could all use a little help with post-Christmas feast!
recommendations – eat oats and exotic mushrooms regularly throughout the week.
Those needing a little extra support check out Hifas da Terra, an excellent
medicinal mushroom company.
MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride, a
type of fat that the body cannot store and so uses as an efficient fuel source.
Including lots of MCTs in your daily diet, such as those from coconut,
sustainable palm and organic dairy fats can help you ward off infection, boost
immune function and even lose a little weight. For those following a low
carbohydrate diet, MCTs are a great additional fuel source that help support
brain function and energy levels whilst maintaining ketosis.
recommendation – as chance would have it we have lots of left over stock of MCT
oil from a recent cancer clinical trial – it’s available from our shop now and
at a great price!
It’s all about mince pies and mulled wine
at this time of year but for many, even those not fighting cancer, it is also a
very stressful time, making it important that you are getting plenty of healthy
protein-rich foods in your diet.
Consuming at least 2-3 x the size of your palm of outdoor reared,
naturally fed, organic protein sources from both animals and plants daily, will
help ensure you meet your protein needs. If you are unwell, fighting cancer or
particularly stressed, you may need to increase this, as protein is important
for healthy immune and stress responses as well as helping to reduce the
negative effect of high sugar foods on your energy, wellbeing and sleep.
We recommend –
finding a good grass fed meat box company such as Green Pasture Farms, Fields
and Flower, Eversfield Organic (there are so many these days) or a good local
farm shop or health food company where you can source naturally reared and fed
animal and plant proteins. Slow cooking the cheaper cuts of meat is a great way
to create a delicious wintery dish, whilst locking in all of the nutrients and
keeping this cost-effective.
Sophie is a Master’s degree qualified clinical nutrition
scientist with specialist qualifications in nutritional support for patients
before, during and after cancer treatment and a background in cancer research
biology. Sophie has helped a number of cancer patients manage their condition
through natural co-therapies and lifestyle interventions.
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