With the weather finally heating up, the big question is what is healthy when it comes to the sun? As we know, too much UV radiation can damage DNA in your skin cells and can cause cancer. However, there are also many benefits to the right amount of exposure!
Vitamin D is widely known to promote calcium absorptions in the gut, ensure appropriate bone growth and now, lower chances of cancer.
A Research study carried out by a team in Japan from the National Cancer Centre concluded that people with higher levels of Vitamin D had a 22% lower chance of being diagnosed with Cancer. There was also strong statistical evidence that people with high vitamin D levels were 55% less likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer. Another report from Michigan State University stated that if taken for more than three years, Vitamin D may add years to life for those who are currently suffering from cancer.
Although statistics may be low it is important to maintain the intake of vitamin D for general health! With summer approaching its important that you get outside and soak in the sun! But also be mindful of wearing sunscreen and keeping hydrated in the heat.
Here a few tips to make sure you’re getting the right about of Vitamin D:
You need at least 15 minutes of sun exposure between 10 am – 3 pm several times a week, whether that’s opting to walk to the shops or just sitting outside on your break, a small amount of such each day does a world of good. People with darker skin will need to spend more time in the sun as higher levels of melanin can inhibit vitamin D production.
As well as the sun you can also absorb vitamin D through food. Meals containing oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and egg yolks contain a high amount of vitamin D.
Supplements are also another option to increase your intake of vitamin D and are easy to purchase from your nearest supermarket. Vegan supplements are also available which can be found in speciality health stores or online.
Always make sure you are wearing sun cream and staying hydrated whenever you are out. Check out our recent re-post of the article ‘SPF, UVA, UVB: Sun Cream Explained’ to understand why suncream is so important and which type you should be using!
Today is Flourish Thursday and we’re taking a dive into the world of food! Something that’s not often spoken about is the loss of taste whilst undergoing some cancer treatments. Obviously, taste is a huge part of everyone’s day to day lives.As an answer to this issue, Ceri Harris, created The Velindre Cookbook. The cookbook includes plenty of delicious recipes uniquely crafted by cancer patients that have lost their taste due to chemotherapy as well as their story and stories from their families.
As well as the contributions from those facing cancer, top chefs, including Michelin star winner Chris Harrod, have also contributed original recipes to the book that are guaranteed to get the taste buds tingling. “It’s more than just a cook book. I wanted to create a legacy of people’s memories and food is something that brings everyone together.” Ceri’s said when describing the cook book.
Food is such a fundamental part of life that we often overlook just how magical the effects of it are. Whether it is the delicious recipes or the art of cooking, The Velindre Cookbook has so much to offer. The stories in the book will warm your heart as much as the recipes will light up your taste buds. The book has raised more than £10,000 as well as being nominated for the Gourmand World Cookbook awards in China. It is fantastic to see a passionate woman spreading such an incredible message in a fun and creative way.
Exercising can play a vital role in reducing the chances of cancer developing. Physical activity is classed as anything that requires more energy and uses more muscles than resting does. As we all know exercise has lots of positive effects on the body, some of which can be linked to the reduction in the risk of developing cancer.
Exercising not only helps to prevent obesity and decreases the effects on the body obesity causes such as insulin resistance, it also helps to improve the function of the immune system.
Exercising also reduces the levels of hormones in the body, these hormones can be linked to the cause of cancer.
Higher levels of hormones such as Oestrogen can be linked the cause of breast cancer. Lowering levels of hormones such as Oestrogen and Insulin can help prevent chances of developing cancer. A lower percentage of body fat also means your body will produce less Oestrogen also reducing the risk of developing cancer.
It is recommended that adults take part in 150 minutes of exercise a week, about 30 minutes a day.
So how can you be more active?
Here are a few ideas to get you moving more:
Get off the bus or tube a stop early and walk the rest of the way
Take the stairs instead of the lift
Join a local sports group that meets weekly
Make the most of the lighter summer evenings a go for brisk walk
There a lots of fitness apps and videos available for free making exercise fun and easy without even leaving the comfort of your home such as Strava, 7 Minute Workouts and the 30 Day Fitness Challenge!
Let us know how you keep fit or any other tips for making exercise fun by tweeting @theVPcharity
Art Journaling is a beautiful creative safe space to create a visual language to help process how you feel.
The only requirement for Art Journaling is to let your mind guide your hands. The result is always something beautiful and unexpected.
My Core Art Journaling workshops are a place to play with an assortment of art materials, and writing exercises in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.
Core Art Journaling helps lead you to deeper awareness and understanding, as we explore and process our thoughts and feelings. Art journaling as a form of creative self-expression.
Why I Art Journal? When I was experiencing a difficult time and living in the French Alps on my own I wasn’t getting my feelings and emotions resolved. Art journaling really helped me when I was looking for a safe space to process how I was feeling. I loved that there weren’t any rules and the sense of play in my journals became a place for me to unload and make sense of what was going on in my life.
I couldn’t believe how good it felt using tools like free flow writing and the magic of being able to scrawl unconsciously onto my page unhealthy mind chatter. Art journaling became a realistic creative cathartic space for me work out and heal my difficulties.
I knew it was going to be painted over and I love layering my pages writing, stamping, drawing and playing with mixed media using my journal daily to help me heal.
With Core Art Journaling there are not art rules all that is asked is to be true to yourself.
Creativity is our own personal voice and at the heart of what makes us as human.
What I do
I run workshops and retreats where I facilitate and guide how to use Art Journaling as a creative Wellbeing tool.
We have fun there are no rules, you can get messy, play and paint like a child enjoying sensorial painting with fingers and play with mixed media. Art Journaling is not about pretty pictures or making something look right it about processing, connecting mindfully and enjoying the freedom of creating.
Why would you Art Journal?
You process your feelings and thoughts.
Relieves anxiety by allowing yourself not to be control of the outcome of the page.
You are guided to get out what’s in your head onto the page.
You find a deeper sense of yourself.
Relieves stress and builds your self esteem.
Sense of empowerment with your journal recording your world and life.
My altered books are environmentally friendly, up cycling old books and give them a new life and story.
We liberate ourselves shutting down any inner critic that tells us we are not creative
How it can help recovery.
Art Journaling can help cancer patients, the process of releasing strong emotions through an Art Journaling community either physically or online is a positive recovery tool and the Mindful practice of art has proven to create positive changes.
It’s a release to visually work through all those feeling that can arise with a diagnosis and treatment. Your art journal can be powerful healing tool in that journey. All those thoughts get processed through emotional mark making and is cathartic.
Best of all it’s a realistic creative self-care action. Anyone can art journal at home setting yourself up a small area and giving yourself even just 15mins a day can be beneficial.
“Creativity is great medicine for all, both the creator and the one who experiences it. It is not an indulgence; it is fundamental to medical practice.” Patch Adams
5 things about Core Art Journaling
You don’t need any Art experience
You can collect and find a home for treasured pieces.
Personally, I really love how Victoria’s Promise understand the many areas of your life that cancer can affect. The charity goes deeper than the obvious, and helps in areas I wouldn’t have thought I needed before this whole cancer journey began.
I had to have surgery for breast cancer, I also had my lymph nodes removed in my arm pit as the cancer had spread to there too. I hadn’t realised that this would mean my arm will now find it difficult to drain the fluid properly. I was so glad to find out VP has a lovely Beauty Therapist, Lisa Fung Bowman- Hood who is trained in lymphatic drainage massage, to help me with this!
I’m not usually the type to get a massage, being rather ticklish, (I usually come out of a massage more tense then when I went in), but I could see a clear benefit for having a lymphatic drainage massage and I was pleasantly surprised at how gently and relaxing it was.
I caught Lisa off guard a little in this vlog but she still manages to get across how important and beneficial the massage is. See how I got on in the video here:
In this week’s support Wednesday post, we are doing a major #throwback to Louisa Gordon in January 2018! In her vlog, Louisa gives a beautiful account of how she discovered Victoria’s Promise and why our VP Affinity Workshops were and are so valuable to women going through cancer treatment. Since this video, Louisa has done an incredible job of hosting our workshops and has welcomed many new faces to lots of different activities and speakers such as Tenovus Choir, Meditation, Drumming therapy and many more!
Clubbercise, Basingstoke – 17th April at Christchurch Chineham
Creative Journalling, Winchester – 25th April at Rawberry Cafe
To find out more about our upcoming Affinity workshops, click here