When I asked my doctors what can I do to give myself the very best chance of long term survival, I was told the following:

  • Eat a heathy balanced Mediterranean style diet – plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portions a day)

Fresh vegetables

  • Eat whole grain foods
  • Exercise often, 5-6 times a week for at least 30 minutes

  • Reduce stress; practise mindfulness to help with this. Take up an activity that totally absorbs and relaxes you.

  • Sleep well to allow your body to repair and recover
  • Limit alcohol to only a couple of units over a week or none. (Latest research from the World Cancer Research Fund highlights the increased risks associated with alcohol consumption)
  • Reduce red meat consumption
  • Reduce processed foods and sugar intake
  • Keep your weight within the ideal BMI range, stay on the lean side

My initial reaction to hearing this extensive list was to feel slightly overwhelmed, but I gave up drinking alcohol that day and embraced every aspect of the medical advice.

Of course I’m not perfect, but I plan my meals and aim to have at least 6 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.  I do a variety of sports and exercise, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, swimming, tennis, dancing, and dog walking, to get my exercise quota up.  I practice mindfulness meditation and throw pottery to reduce stress and help me relax.  I’m also working hard to reduce my weight further.  It’s a challenge, but overall I can really feel the difference that following this advice has made to my wellbeing.

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