Tag Archives: vegan

New Year Resolutions

I’ve never been one for making New Year resolutions, as I always knew I wouldn’t stick to them so I never made any, but having lung cancer and making it to another new year, why not, maybe I should make some and try to make some positive changes to my life, as according to my doctor, I shouldn’t really be here now, not that I ever believed the doctor, I always thought you had to be ill and feel ill to be dying of something, and I most certainly wasn’t ill enough to be dying of anything. So what can my resolutions be, thats if there’s more than one of them.

Firstly I’m a Wim Hoffer, doing breathing excercises with yoga and various excercises your suppose to do between each step of the course. I have hardly done any of this since July, since my rib has been hurting, which started after doing four rounds of deep breathing. It doesn’t hurt as much now and I’ve had five lots of radiotherapy on it, so hopefully that will start to ease soon. So the plan is to get back on track with the Wim Hof Fundementals course, and start to practice it everyday, if not daily then at least weekly. That includes the yoga before the breathing, and the homework between each step of the course, and of course the cold showers. You can find out more about Wim Hof and his breathing method here.

Second, writing this blog has been a lot of fun, so I want to do more writing, more blogs and even writing articles for magazines or the local paper. I’m writing a book and having radiotherapy has put the finish date of it back by a few months, so part of this resolution is to finish my book and get it published, either as an e-book or paperback or both, I don’t think it’ll make the New York bestseller list, so I don’t think getting the best deal would be too important, just getting it out there is the important thing, and getting it published.

Third, I can be a bit arty at times, and I enjoy creating stuff, it doesn’t have to be much, even just playing about with scissors and coloured card, cutting out the names of my grandchildren, they liked it, and I always enjoyed drawing and painting at school, so doing a picture or making something each month is something I want to do.

Fourth, has to be more swimming, if my cancer allows, and more running, getting fit again, starting gently and building up to getting below an hour for the London 10k in July and getting in around 45 mins for the mile swim in Swim Serpentine in Sept, and swimming it front crawl, the last two times have been breast stroke, and getting some chill swims in as well, I do enjoy a cold dip, which is part of the Wim Hof course that I enjoy, the cold showers, you always feel so refreshed when you come out of the cold shower.

So I think thats it :- sticking to the Wim Hof course more, more writing, being creative each month, and more swimming and running, that’s not bad for someone that doesn’t make any new year resolutions. This new year marks the end of my first full year of being affected by cancer, last new year, I had been ill since September, and no idea what the new year would bring, I wasn’t even sure I’d make it this far. But I have and I would say I’m thriving, I feel good and positive, and looking forward to a bright and long future, so I might as well make some plans and give myself something to do with all this time I’m going to have on my hands.

I’ll be seeing my oncologist in January, so we’ll take it from there after getting the results of my CT scan, and proceed into the future of this bright and prosporus new year. So thank you again for taking the time to read my blog and listen to my new year resolutions, and I’ll let you know how I get on with sticking to them, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all an amazing New Year and good luck to you all and that you have a healthy and happy 2020, be strong, think strong and do all you dare to dream, and find the strength and courage that’s already inside you to follow your dreams, whatever they are! Thats your new year resolution, I’ve just made it for you. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer and always 100% positive throughout 2020 and beyond.

The Game Changers. Going Vegan is the Way!

Hi, I’ve just seen this new film coming out for worldwide release on the 16th September ‘The Game Changers’, this is a production about how meat is not the be all and end of everything, as it was promoted in the seventies and eighties, and still is today. But today more people are realising that vegan is the way and not eating meat. When you look at the statistics for meat production it really is unbelievable how much water and energy is used to produce meat for the table, and this is adding to global warming so much. And absolutely astoundingly is that it is more polluting than all the transport around the world. Plus the terrible conditions that the animals are kept in for their short lives that no one seems to care about, as long as they fetch a good price at market. The meat industry in America is so protected even the US government can’t force the industry to disclose what conditions the animals are in or how much antibiotics is being given to the animals. This is all voluntary disclosure, you are not allowed to film the conditions the animals are kept in and then show it to someone, you can be prosecuted for that.

Don’t try and press the ‘Watch Trailer’ button, it’s a screen shot.

The film has been put together by so many sports stars who are now realising that plant based diets are much healthier for you than meat diets. And performance has increased just by going vegan. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a great body building superstar in the seventies and eighties, and was an advocate of eating lots of meat for protein. But where did all these animals so rich in protein get their protein from? Plants! Thats all they ever eat, and yet they’re oozing with protein for us to eat, and yet you can get it directly from eating plants yourself, bypassing the animals and getting protein first hand not second hand. Lewis Hamilton is an executive producer on this project, along with Arnie, James Cameron, Jackie Chan, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul. I feel quite pleased that Lewis became vegan after watching the netflix film ‘What the Health’, the same one that my brother Moriens son Timmy, got him to watch, after not being in good health, and felt so much fitter and healthier for the change to going vegan. When I had my diagnosis for lung cancer, Morien urged me to watch the film, which I did, and could see it made sense that we’re not meat eaters, and going vegan was what we were designed for. Five months after my diagnosis and going vegan, my cancer has been dormant for six months, and this was a terminal diagnosis, with an average of a year to live.

I’m so happy so many well respected stars are now coming out and saying going vegan is good for you. Everyone was brain washed into thinking eating meat was essential for a healthy diet, and yet the numbers of obese people in the west is staggering, and the meat production is such a strain on the worlds resources, and yet plant production could solve world hunger and reduce the impact on global warming, meaning by using less space than we do now, we could easily feed the world a vegan diet and everyone would be healthier, with less gases going into the atmoshere, less climate change, it can only be a good thing.

A great team promoting a great cause, Go Vegan.

Some will say it’s natural for us to eat meat, but we’re not designed to eat meat, a little every now and then won’t hurt. Chimpanzees will eat a little meat, if the opportunity arises, but we are not meat eaters. If I gave you a chicken, put you in a room and said there’s your dinner. So it’s now up to you to catch it, kill it with your hands or teeth, then pluck it and eat it raw. I honestly don’t think you’d get far with that, I know I wouldn’t. We don’t have the natural tools for that, but a dog or a cat, now they have the tools and they could feed on the chicken quite happily. Lions, tigers, wolves they stalk, hunt and kill their prey, and eat it raw, no cooking or marinading, or hanging up for twenty days or whatever, it gets eaten there and then, by a long line of meat eaters until it’s gone. Nothing is wasted. But humans realised they can make money from this, and it’s a lot of money, so no one wants to give that up. No one is going to say you shouldn’t eat meat. They make programs to promote eating ridiculous amounts of meat, ‘Man vs Food’is one, on one of these episodes they were on Hawaii, and they were trying to convince you that these huge burgers was the staple diet of the locals. It wasn’t, it was the favoured choice of the visiting Americans, so to profit they made these burgers for the visitors. It looked disgusting and an insult to Hawaii and their people.

So much is sponsored by the meat industry to convince you to carry on eating meat, even some cancer charities are sponsored by meat companies. You don’t have to give it up completely to have a healthy diet, but some people will be eating meat up to four times a day, especially weekends and holidays. A cooked breakfast, chicken sandwich for lunch, a roast dinner, a mixed grill was a favorite of mine, and maybe a burger or kebab as a snack at night. That’s a lot of meat, now it’s not eating meat that gives you cancer, but the cancer will live off the excess protein that your body has stored. The human body doesn’t like to waste anything, and will store fat and protein, as years ago that was the only way you would survive winter. Meat has more protein in it than your body will use, so it stores what it doesn’t use, in your arteries. Then when it’s needed you have this supply that can get to any part of your body. But it doesn’t seem to send a set amount, it just sends protein, and it just keeps coming, possibly the reason for some cancers to develop, having so much protein being given to a certain organ, in my case my lung, then this starts to make it grow wrong, which then speads, to the lymph nodes and bones and my other lung. Five months after going vegan my cancer has died off from my bones and the tumour has started to shrink, but I was having pallitive chemo, just to prolong life not to cure me. Something made the cancer dormant, it hasn’t shrunk any more or showed to be dying off since going dormant, but it’s dormant, and this is now eleven months on from my terminal diagnosis, and being given an average of a year to live. I’ve always been positive and never accepted I was ill, let alone ill enough to be dying, but I truely believe that going vegan is the reason I’m still here and quite happily going about my life with cancer, but dormant cancer.

This is one of the pictures of my cancer, which is now dormant, the cancer in one of my lungs.

The anti vegan movement is alive and well, and I wonder what they will make of this new film, ‘The Game Changers’. ‘What The Health’ was a vegan film made by vegans to promote going vegan. This was obvious, but this new film is by people who are so well known and respected in their line of work, and most have only recently come to the notion that going vegan is a good thing, and with so many of these at the top of their chosen professions, people have to sit up and take notice now, they’re not just academics telling you facts or their opinion, it’s people so many people admire and have done for years, getting on for over fourty years in some cases, that have come around to the idea that vegan is the right way. Realising years of being told only eating meat can get you to the top, isn’t actually the truth, they were just being sold a product by a good salesman.

So now the truth is coming out, and about time too, so wake up and realise you’ve been sold meat for years as the only way to eat, being promoted in sit coms and soap opera’s. How many times has someone tried to sell you something, eg a car, they tell you how good it is, makes the sale, and yet he drives off in a different make of car, not touching that make of car for anything. We’ve been sold the notion that meat is the only way for health and strength for years, now it’s time to get healthy, feel better, prevent so many illnesses that that eating meat can cause or feed, high blood pressure, Alzheimers, some cancers, dementia just to name a few. I’m not a medical person and these are my views based on my own personal experience with lung cancer(not smoked since 19 years old) and from watching films like ‘What The Health’, ‘Food Choices’ and really looking forward to this new film ‘The Game Changers’ worldwide release on 16th September 2019. So that’s another rant over and thanks for reading my post and my opinions on going vegan, it’s the best thing I’ve done for my health, give it go, you never know you might like it. And remember always be 100% positive and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer! Or going Vegan!

Is Wales The Most Beautiful Place On Earth?

It may not be THE most beautiful place on earth, but it’s up there with the best definitely, we’ve just had four days here, staying at Devils Bridge, a few miles from Aberystwyth, Mid Wales. The scenery is stunning, we came into Wales on the A44, and got to a lovely little town called Rhayader, from here after looking at the map, no sat navs here, I saw a road that would take us straight to Devils bridge, I’m not sure what the road starts off as but it becomes the B4574, so straight on at the junction in Rhayader, and within a mile we’re turning right. That’s got to be it ‘Mountain road to Aberystwyth’ sounds ominous but I’m sure our little Kia Picanto can handle it. It’s not quite a single track road but it’s not far off, but I do like these little roads, it was always a lot of fun in an artic with a forty foot trailer behind you, delivering bricks and blocks, you went down these sorts of roads every now and then and I loved them, proper driving, that’s when I worked for Canute’s for three years, 12-15 years ago. Working for Abbey you had a few factories or farms you’d deliver to down roads like this, I got stuck once on the drive way into the farm, I couldn’t go forwards, too steep, and I couldn’t go backwards as I was now heading into a steep field as the road was so narrow, the farmer had to get his tractor out to pull me up the slope, and it pulled the unit and tanker, fully loaded, 44 tons as though it was nothing, very impressive.

We travelled along this road, just a normal windy road at first, then it went up and up, over a cattle grid, and then up some more, sheep everywhere, all quite content grazing by the edge of the road, only a few seemed put out by the cars going by, these were the ones looking for the next bit of grass to feed on, the ones munching away didn’t bat an eye lid. A river is to the left of us, with a couple of cars parked and you can see a few people by the beautiful river dropping 100 feet or so over rocks, not straight down in one go, but a steady slope. There’s just something about water I absolutely love, rivers, lakes or the sea I could sit and just watch it all day. The sound of it, the smell, the feel of it, I’ll always go for a swim if I can, I love the water. As we get to the top of the mountain the views are stunning in every direction, then it’s up and down for a while every turn producing a new stunning landscape. We go past the Crag Goch Resivoir, with a junction, left or straight on, these are the times you wish you had a sat nav, but it’s two-ish in the afternoon, the sun is to our left, and we want to be heading west, so straight on it is, we’re in no rush and with plenty of fuel in the tank if we do get lost. Straight on if your heading to Devils bridge, or Aberystwyth. You can look down here and see a parking place just past the junction, with several cars there, and can see some people in the river splashing about, my heaven, I wish we did stop but wanted to get to our hotel, hoping to get back here another day while we’re here.

We’ve come down from the top now and we have a huge mountain to our left, so beautiful, with it’s green slopes, a river between us and the mountain, the we see a small campsite, only a couple of hardy campers there, one was setting up, but what an amazing spot to camp at, and if you have all the right gear for the rain, which you’ll need here as it does like a bit of rain, you’ll have an amazing time here. We’ll need a bigger car than our Picanto if we’re to start camping, we could get the gear in the car but there’d be no room for anyone else, including the driver. We’ve been laughed at a few times at Ikea or The Range when we’ve tried to get the big boxes of flat pack furniture in the car, at least we tried, then got a van to take them home, much easier.

We go through a village called Cwmystwth, how nice would it be to live here? The Mountains all around, so far from the town, a completely different life, I’m probably not tough enough to cope with their winters, or life here throughout the year, but I would love to try. We come to another junction, straight on for Devils Bridge, I hope, Hafod estate is the left turn here, and we’re staying at the Hafod Hotel, so a bit of confusion and pick straight on, luckily it’s the correct decision, and Devils Bridge soon appears in front of us, the car park for the hotel is on the left, park up and get our bags and walk the hundred yards or so to the hotel. More stunning scenery all around so beautiful here. We book in and go to our room, so relieved to be here. It’s a long trek from Basildon to Devils Bridge, so we broke it up with a stay at Gloucester, which was nice having a wander around there on Sunday evening, then meeting the take away guy at the door, and taking our food up to our room to eat and relax.

This trip is all about family, my brother Gareth lives nearby in Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes, and has done for ten years, so this is only our third meeting in those ten years, luckily his kids will be there too, which is really nice to see them all. Also my Dad is coming down, with my oldest brother Morien and one of his sons Timmy. We had the trip to the Peak District at the end of July, and had most of our family in one place, just Gareth and my Dad not there so this is so nice now we’ve seen everyone within a month. The last time everyone was together was at our wedding thirty one years ago. There were no children at our wedding from our family, now we have fourteen children between us, and my wife and me now have five grandchildren, how things change. We have a little walk around Devils Bridge, and go down to see the ‘Punch Bowl’ and waterfall, this is really nice, and only £1 to get through the turnstile, only about a hundred or so steps here, but you get down below the three bridges that are here, each one built on top of the other, at the bottom you have the river, and as it has swirled around for thousands of years, it has carved out a half circle in the rock, amazing to see, the power of water is unbelievable.

After this little walk it’s off to Pont-Rhyd-y- Groes, the drive from here is only fifteen minutes and it’s so beautiful, over the mountains and amazing views in all directions, this place is so beautiful, you sit in Gareths kitchen or at the front of the house, and it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of. We’ve been here once before and it’s as good as I remember it, you always think how sad it is to think that maybe people who have lived here all their life, may take this view for granted, it’s so spectacular, and not repeated at many, if any places around the world. Gareth tells me it rains so much here, but we were there for four days, and it did rain but not enough to spoil any of the days, so I don’t believe him when he says it rains most of the time. Gareth cooked us a lovely meal, a welcome bonus, we were wondering what we’d eat tonight, and there’s no mcds or chip shops round here, not like Pitsea, we have at least nine takeaways on our doorstep. As we got here there were these adults or nearly adults at his house, omg they’ve grown so much, but we haven’t seen them much over the years, Jem is eighteen, Jasper is sixteen and Jensen is fourteen, Gareth had to ask each of them their age, as long as they’re ok some info like age isn’t regarded as important by the brain, it’s just a number. Jasmine is out tonight, and she’s twenty four, a year younger than our son Tom and the same birthday. Great seeing everyone, and we make plans to climb the local mountain tomorrow, before my Dad, Morien and Timmy get here.

In the morning Sonia, Leo and me go down to the other little walk you can do at Devils Bridge, this one is £4 to go around, but obviously much longer than the £1 walk, and it’s worth every penny, this is stunningly beautiful, all 654 steps of it, most of them quite steep steps too. I could put hundreds of photos from this walk in here, so I’ll try and keep to just a few. This is a tiring walk and so happy that I can manage it while carrying around some lung cancer, even though it’s dormant, but we let Gareth know that walking up the ‘James Family Mountain’, as they have named it, will be out today, so we just go round to his house and chill in the front garden with amazing views, and being shown photos and told about some of the aircraft that use this valley for training, with the defining roar from the jets, knowing that if you hear it, by the time you look up you know it’s gone. It’s great seeing everyone again and Jasmine this time, but we head back to the hotel for a rest before dinner tonight with everyone at our hotel, they do some vegan food here so I’m looking forward to that. My Dad, Morien and Timmy arrive safely, and in a great big 4 by 4 thing, and we’re told my Dads car is making alot of noise so probably wouldn’t of made it, so they hired a car and this was all they had available, so needs must and they had to make do with it, a bit of a struggle though when your not use to it.

We all had a lovely meal at the hotel and had arranged to go to Fairbourne the next day. This is where we came on a lot of holidays when we were very young, Morien was an only child when he first came as a baby, there are six of us now, we all have so many great memories of Fairbourne, mine was the minature railway, I got a pass for it one year and spent the whole of the last day of our holiday on it, just going back and to, loved it. The beach was a great place for football or cricket, and a swim, then the walk back to our cottage just up the hill through the village. As we got to Fairbourne the weather had eased, the rain had stopped, but still a little windy, first stop the chip shop, chips, curry sauce and a bread roll, then a walk to the beach past the minature railway, and get the swimming and cricket things from the car. As we get to the beach over the sea defences, the tide is in and only the large stones and peebles are visible, so time for a swim first before the cricket, Timmy and me are the only ones going in the sea, and not long after getting in, we see a large jellyfish, hopefully we won’t see many more. I love it in the sea, jumping the waves trying to get beyond the breakers and having a little swim, but just being in the water is enough for me. As the tide is going out a small bit of beach is becoming visible, so it’s nearly cricket time, we had so many games on the beach here, as the sun was going down, then back to our holiday cottage. Hardly seems possible it is over fourty years since we were here, and yet we can remember it like it was yesterday.

Out of the sea and get dried, and the cricket match is under way, just two batting and the rest bowling and fielding, no counting the runs or sides, not enough of us today for that. A lot of fun though, even though I was bowled out first ball by Jasmine, she sent the stumps flying, I saw the ball coming but couldn’t hit it, and bang, OUT! Back to fielding then, even my Dad has joined in, and he’s in his eighties, but he’s not as quick as he used to be, so he’s given a runner to help him. Gareth is a very keen cricketer, and it shows in his children, all four of them, and I like to think I’m a pretty good bowler, and that is from growing up with Gareth. Cricket was a very popular game in our household when we were young, in the garden or on the beach, but I never really took to cricket, and don’t ever remember playing the game at school. I do remeber playing with Gareth one day in the park in Congleton, where we use to live, “I know what your weakness is now, fast bowling, watch this.” And straight in the nuts, OUCH! “Oh come on, arn’t you ready to play again yet?” “No! Not yet!” No wonder I never took to cricket. Luckily no repeat of that today I’m glad to say. But it is a great day playing cricket on this beautiful beach, with the tide going out slowly, it reveals a massive beach at low tide, and a lovely sandy beach, great fun as a kid.

As the cricket comes to an end, before we all head off some of us go on the miniature steam railway, getting the last train of the day, to the end of the line opposite Barmouth, some people getting the ferry to Barmouth, and then back to Fairbourne station, back to the car, but before we head off, my Dad, Morien and me drive up to the holiday cottage we used to stay in, we see the house we use to stay in, but is so overgrown now, then we see the house name, and so many memories come back from just reading the house name, then we see the owners of the house opposite, and ask them about the house we use to stay in, they knew of the owners, not being old enough to know them, and knew the story of the house, that it was bought from Harrods in London, and shipped out here on a lorry and put together on the hill, and being the first house here, there’s about maybe ten houses here, it’s great being back here and hard to think the last time was over fourty years ago. Back to Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes for a lovely meal and great hospitallity from Gareth and his kids, a great end to a great visit to Wales, seeing all my family now in just over a month, beautiful scenery, here and in the Peak District. Back to the hotel and back to Basildon tomorrow, and looking forward to going on the mountain road again. Take care and thanks for reading my blog, always be 100% positive and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer.