Diary note 2015: Hospice Duty,
As stand –in chef at the Hospice I am on call when the regular chefs are away. Normally, when I’m on duty there are a number of patients in-house and I am able to discuss what they would like for breakfast, lunch or dinner and so I am able to make something special for them that they are going to enjoy. It’s a very rewarding experience, especially when patients express their enjoyment of the food you have created for them.
Unfortunately, today was one of those days when all the patients were too ill to be bothered with food. Such times as these can be quite depressing and sad as, naturally, you want them to be well and enjoying the respite care and meals the hospice provides for them.
Being around this environment makes you question why this patent has got lung cancer when they never even smoked, or that other patient with cancer of the Pancreas. What happened for that twenty something young mum to have developed bowel cancer at such a young age, leaving behind a baby less than a year old and with so much to live for.
I want miracles to happen. I want these once vibrant people with all their future potentials to be healed and well again.
Researchers and doctors know that there is no single reason why an individual might contract a terminal disease. The main beliefs are that people, under the right circumstances, contract disease mainly through genetics (DNA) , smoking and diet.
While we are unable to control the genes passed on from our forebears it is still possible, should we choose, to control our eating and smoking habits.
Not so long ago, only lung cancer was believed to be due to smoking. Today, medical professionals understand that smoking can also cause many other forms of cancer, killing thousands who should know better. The cigarette package warning SMOKING CIGARETTES CAN KILL should be enough to put people off smoking but unfortunately, the attitude “she’ll be right, it won’t happen to me…” is prevalent in society’s thinking. Hence, thousands will continue to die every year and from what I have witnessed, it is a very unpleasant and often slow way to die. Even so, it is also proven that a person can be a complete non-smoker and still contract smoker’s diseases – often blamed on passive smoking, simply by being in the vicinity of a smoker and inhaling their smoke.
Western diets have changed over the last half century and highly processed foods have become the norm. But our bodies are not designed for these foods, we need roughage to cleanse our intestine, bowel, and stomach. These same highly processed foods are also responsible for the increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, blindness and obesity.
So what should your diet consist of if you want to live as long as possible and have a better chance of living a healthy life?
Humans can eat certain raw foods such as nuts, grains, and a whole bunch of fresh leaf foods. Then there are the foods that help fight diseases, keeping the mind and body functioning as it was designed to do. Dark green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, silver beet, brussel sprouts, kale, asparagus, artichokes, runner beans and the orange coloured vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut.
Fruits: Oranges, Lemons provide a good source of vitamin C an important ingredient for a healthy immune system. Apples have always been popular and blueberries are said to be good brain food, also known to be good for the heart.
This list is by no means complete but if you can incorporate all or most of these foods into your diet, you have a fighting chance of living a longer life.
And that is what we all want for ourselves and our loved ones.