Nutrition, Holistic Health & Surviving Cancer

Nutrition, Holistic Health & Surviving Cancer

Hi, my name is Oliver, a yoga teacher from London with a passion for healthy living. During this blog series, I’ll tell you a little more about myself, how I fell into a life dedicated to health and give you some great easy tips to lead a healthier life through nutrition and movement. 

The day that everything changed

Let me take you back to the date when everything changed for me: The 7th of May 2017. Having been experiencing several different ailments for a few months, I finally decided to speak to a doctor about what was going on. It wasn’t long into the conversation when I sensed that he suspected things might be a little more serious than I thought. I was sent for a CT scan that day and when the results came through, I was told that I had advanced cancer. Stage IV cancer. At 24 years old, it’s something you never expect to deal with. I felt totally unequipped to face the severity of my situation. 

I was diagnosed with Stage IV Germ Cell Cancer and due to the severity of the disease, I felt helpless, powerless, and unhopeful. I followed the advice of oncologists and started chemotherapy. 

During my treatment, I also tried to surround myself with some incredible, knowledgeable people, including cancer survivors, reflexologists, yoga teachers, nutritionists, and herbalists – all offered snippets of holistic knowledge that I was able to incorporate into my treatment plan. All of which I truly believe contributed to my recovery.  

The importance of nutrition

The thing I was most drawn to was the importance of nutrition. This was something I had never paid too much attention to growing up, but as I slowly gathered more and more knowledge, I realised that there were multiple ways I could boost my survival chances - which at the time were just 50%. 

One of the most interesting statistics I read was that around 90% of cancers are down to environmental factors and lifestyle choices. The realisation that nutrition could play a key role in my recovery was empowering. It gave me a sense of control over the illness. Although the chemotherapy was really starting to take its toll, I no longer felt powerless and hopeless as I did when I was first diagnosed. I was determined to do everything I could to achieve my goal: Survive! 

So, I swapped burgers for beetroots. I converted to a plant-based diet. And I became a juicing machine. Each day I would make at least three juices and smoothies, packed full of the most nutritious fruit, vegetables, and supplements I could get my hands on. Often these drinks, tinctures, and herbs that I was consuming didn’t taste particularly pleasant, but because I was now aware of what these foods were doing to me, how they were helping ‘heal’ me, my taste buds were no longer the driving factor for how I ate. After a month or so, I noticed changes in my energy levels, my mood and my appearance. Every positive change increased my motivation to learn more and continue this new way of living. 

A smoothie to start your day with

I remember the first smoothie I was told about all those years back and to this day, it has become a part of my morning ritual. On a macro-nutrient level, this smoothie is great. It’s loaded with fibre, carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein to help keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day. On a micro-nutrient level, this smoothie works to detoxify and support your vital organs. Give it a go! 

Just blend the following…

  • 1 Banana 
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 2 Medjool Dates
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Cacao Nibs
  • 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Mushroom Powder (you can pick this up from Zen Maitri) 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Coconut Oil 
  • ½ Cup Oat Milk
  • ½ Cup Water

About the Author, Oliver Plummer

My route into the health industry came after my own personal health troubles. In May 2017 I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. I was able to fight the illness and am now in remission. Fuelled by fresh juices, a plant based diet and a passion for yoga, I am trying to help people discover how just amazing their body is meant to feel.
You can find a little more about me on Instagram @oliverjamesyoga.

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