Day 35 of the challenge has been quiet but a hugely important day as I have given thanks for the glorious food we are lucky enough to be able to eat and for the generosity of the team at the McLaren Leisure Centre. So What I hear you cry? You will remember from the welcome message that I have a 5 now 6 F’s strategy for beating this beast.

Two of those F’s are Food and F(Ph)ysical Training. We are what we eat, of that I am 100% certain and even more certain that there are certain foods that help me carry on the fight with the beast beyond the incredible treatments I have already had. So this morning on the day of the harvest festival I was grateful to have the opportunity to give thanks for the glorious bounty we are lucky enough to be able to grow on these beautiful islands and around the world for it is this bounty I am using to try and beat the beast. Avoiding as much as possible, processed foods I try to cook a varied diet every day from scratch. It is hard work but I quite enjoy the challenge and enjoy watching the children experiment with the different tastes and flavours every day knowing that they too will reap the benefits of a healthy diet. I made many mistakes in the recent past post diagnosis diving in to a raw vegan diet head first and ended up needing treatment to repair the body that I had shocked with such a rapid and complete change.

However I learnt many lessons which I have now carried forward and enjoy my food so much more as a result. The best advice I think however on the web for healthy eating is that given on the NHS Choices website. It is so simply written it is easy to picture what such a feeding plan would look like. Amongst other guidance the site advises to try and eat 8 portions of fruit and vegetables a day with the balance leaning more towards the vegetables each day. That is an awful lot of fruit and vegetables but after everything else I have read in my previous Google driven research I am convinced that they are right so I strive each and every day to achieve that balance. For example Broccoli, Carrots, Red Grapes and tomatoes are supposed to be very good at trying to combat any attempts at growth a brain tumour might try and make. So I make a pick and mix bag of tenderstem broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and red grapes which I then carry around with me on the challenge each and every day. I do get odd looks as I walk through the Thistle Shopping centre in Stirling with a piece of tenderstem sticking out of my mouth but the pick and mix bag makes it more entertaining and actually quite enjoyable. The selenium in Brazil Nuts is supposed to cause cell death in cancerous cells so I eat a couple of those 3 times a day. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – so guess what – yep an apple a day plus a banana and an orange a day. On top of that I have a good handful of spinach, rocket and watercress each day. All of the above plus Oats in the morning, seeded toast and honey, a yoghurt and some flaxseed each day and raisins combined with the nuts ensure the right balance of carbohydrate, proteins, calcium, omega 3s and vitamins for a mega strong immune system and I can have some fun doing it too. Tonight I made a brilliant superfoods breakfast from the new Jamie Oliver superfoods book with wholemeal tortillas, cottage cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, coriander, black beans and eggs. A protein powerhouse after a good session in the gym and the children loved it and even suggested turning it into a wrap the next time!!

To support my attempts to build back up my immune system through food and Physical Training the really good news is that the great team at the McLaren Leisure Centre have agreed to sponsor me with a membership thus keeping my costs for the challenge to nil for physical activity based in the gym and pool. Brilliant and a huge thank you to you all for your support because keeping my costs as low as possible in delivering the challenge allows me to try and sustain the challenge for as long as ever I physically and mentally can rather than for as long as my finances allow!

So a good day with two short dog walks, an aerobic circuit in the gym and a celebration and thank you for all the good food we are lucky enough to be able to eat. I think that I have waffled enough so….

The challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 35
Total Miles Cycled: 130
Total Miles Walked: 144
Total Miles Run: 4
Total Miles covered under own steam: 278
Total Height Gained under own steam: 16,248 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 2
Days of Conservation Activity: 2 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 1
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 0!
Weight Training Sessions: 2
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 1
People Met and Hands Shaken: 150
Pots of tea shared: 5
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 1
Pills popped: 156
And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 30- £2,267.00.

Considering I started this challenge 6 weeks ago very quietly with no target beyond a fiver, thanks to the brilliant advice from a friend of mine, I am absolutely thrilled and again thank you all. So far that is £75.00 for each and every day that I have managed to find the will and energy to do something worthwhile and my goodness it has been worth it for my peace of mind, for my healing and for the five wonderful charities you are supporting through your generosity. Long may it continue.

Thank you

Yours aye