Life is sweet for cancer mum but without sugar

Claire White from Sugar Snub with her son Joseph
Claire White from Sugar Snub with her son Joseph

BEING diagnosed with breast cancer was devastating for Claire White, especially as she had an 18-month-old son at the time.

But having battled through surgery and chemotherapy, and being given the all-clear, the 39-year-old from Fontwell is turning a negative into a positive.

The experience forced her to focus even more on health and nutrition, particularly the effects of sugar, and she is now using what she learned to help other people.

Claire has founded a new initiative, Sugar Snub, aimed at helping to educate on the dangers of sugar, as well as offering wide-ranging nutritional guidance.

Sugar Snub will offer courses, consultations and traffic light resources to help others reduce or even eliminate sugar from their diets.

“With a background in personal training and nutrition, I thought that I ate pretty healthily but I was amazed when I looked into it to learn what a negative effect on our health and wellbeing sugar has,” said Claire.

“And I was horrified to learn how much sugar had crept into my food cupboards and my diet.”

A qualified personal trainer, she had been fit and healthy until she was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer.

“With a baby son just 18 months old, it was a devastating experience,” she said.

Following months of gruelling treatment, she immediately wanted to find a way to help herself get back on her feet and at the same time, help others.

Research and consultation taught Claire how much cancer cells love sugar.

She says she is evangelical about the benefits of reducing sugar and passionate about sharing what she has discovered with others.

“Being sugar free has been a real eye-opener,” she explained.

“Despite the challenges, I now feel fantastic. I’ve lost more than 10kg (1st 8b), I’m no longer bloated, sleep better, eat less but don’t feel hungry as often, and have so much more energy.

“I have now created courses and resources that I wish were available when I gave up sugar.”

Claire says that being sugar free has been an eye opener for her.

“Cancer loves sugar, there is much research out there to support this statement, and it was nice to be able to regain some control over my health and recovery. The more I read about sugar and its effects on health and mood, the stronger I felt about carrying it through.

“However, despite a background in nutrition I still found it, at times, to be a tough journey.”

Not only did she change her own diet, she started looking at her toddler son Joseph’s food in a new light.

“I’ve always eaten pretty healthily and been conscious not to give my son too many sugary treats. But I was amazed how much sugar had crept into our lives.”

Claire has many years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition adviser, with a specialism in remedial and sports coaching.

She ran weight loss groups focusing on sustainable changes, taking into account modern lifestyles.

She then moved into managing personal training and nutrition apprenticeships, before taking a career break to start a family.

Claire is also bringing out a book in the next couple of weeks, called Sugar Snub, Sugar-Smart Food Guide. The book lists more than 7,000 foods from five major supermarkets, in order of sugar content.

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