When I think back over the past 12 months, my life has been flipped on its head. Just the thought of now trying to express all that has been added, removed or evolved in my life is mind boggling and I fear its going to be a terrible failure but bare with me friends because it is ultimately a very happy story.
The first thing you need to know is that this time last year that I was diagnosed with an ovarian tumour and my blood tests were saying it could be cancerous. The second thing you need to know is that in late May 2016 I had 1 ovary and 2 tumours removed (almost 20cm diameter a piece!) and they were not malignant but borderline. Thank you God! And the third thing I want you know is that the 4 week period between my diagnosis and my surgery was life changing as I examined how I treated my body and in particular what I ate and now I really want to share that with you.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me post a few things about my diet and lifestyle and how it has changed. Less meat, wheat, dairy, sugar and more plants, green and matcha tea, superfoods and movement in my day. Today I wanted to share with you the first thing I changed in my diet which was within 48 hours of my diagnosis - which was I stopped drinking cows milk and eating dairy in an effort to remove any inflammation in my body.
I tried a few years ago to reduce my dairy intake to see if it would reduce my frequent headaches or hormonal skin breakouts but I never lasted long because I just loved that stuff so much. One of my favourite things in the morning is a rich flat white coffee and I loved nothing more than ending the day with a big cold glass of milo.
Without getting too technical, my understanding became to be that tumours (and this one I had was getting very big and uncomfortable) feed on sugar and in particular the sugar found in lactose and wheat and refined sugar so if I stopped bringing those into my body, the tumour would not be able to grow anymore. Secondly, I had that light bulb moment that cows milk has one purpose; to grow baby calves into strong cows. All the nutrients and hormones in the milk are good for baby cows but not for me and just like that - no more dairy for Ange.
I swapped out cows milk for almond milk in my coffee and cheddar or mozzarella cheese was replaced with goats cheese. While goats cheese is still dairy, goats milk has less lactose than cows milk, is less allergenic and as goats tend not to be treated with growth hormones like cows, there are fewer toxins. By the time of my surgery, I felt the tumour was less inflamed. There were some nights soon after my diagnosis when I couldn't eat or sleep because it was pushing on my stomach and lungs but then in the final week before surgery it felt smaller. In the long term as a result of still not drinking cows milk, I don't have ANY headaches. Let me repeat that - as someone who had headaches at least 1-2 times per week for the past 10 years, I think I've had 2 in the past year alone! My skin doesn't breakout (in fact people told me my skin was glowing!) and I experience less "heaviness" in my body. I don't know what it is doing on a cellular level but I can only imagine the benefits. Believe me there is nothing I love more than a big hunk of cheese and if there is a cheese plate to be had it will find its way before me, but in my day to day life this is the approach I have chosen for my long term health.
If you've made it this far into this ridiculously long post - thank you! Thank YOU for coming on this journey with me as I try to be a healthier person inside and out.