Janet Osborne, 62: Harness the Healing Power of Fitness and Nutrition with Janet, Your Cancer-Fighting Ally

Janet is a remarkable individual who wears multiple hats as a personal trainer, registered holistic nutritionist, and Keto diet coach. Her passion for health and wellness is evident in her dedication to helping people fight cancer. With a strong background in fitness and nutrition, Janet brings a unique perspective to the table, providing holistic support to individuals battling cancer. Her expertise in the Keto diet allows her to tailor meal plans and dietary recommendations that not only promote overall well-being but also specifically target cancer-fighting properties. Janet’s commitment to empowering individuals to take control of their health and unlock the power of nutrition is truly inspiring.

How old are you? and how old do you feel?

I am 62 years old. And as for how old I feel, that is a very interesting question.  Up until I turned 60, I probably would have told you I always felt 35 – now, just recently I have changed the way I view aging and I am proud of the wisdom and life experience. I’ve gathered at this point, so I do feel like I’m 62 however, in a good way, I feel healthy and there’s nothing I have changed in my life because of my age. I still mountain bike downhill ski rollerblade, ice skate hike, and probably at times dress a little too young for my age. I do pay more attention to warm-ups in my work workout, corrective exercises, mobility, exercises, and stretching. And that is not necessarily something I do because I’m 62 that is something that I have learned through wisdom, and I think everybody should do.

You specialize in a couple of different fields. What age did you become a holistic nutritionist, personal trainer, and certified Keto coach? What influence do you to go into the holistic approach?

I started teaching fitness classes in my early 20s. I lived in Banff Alberta a ski town. I learned to ski when I was 20 and I opened an aerobic studio there I continued to grow in the industry as the industry grew, and certifications came in for all types of fitness classes, personal training etc. I had a natural passion for learning about nutrition and was constantly reading. It was my husband who suggested I put all that research towards some formal education so that is when I became certified and registered as a holistic nutritionist. I worked privately in Health clubs and taught nutrition and anatomy and physiology in a college for the past 30 years. Keto certification came more recently, and I’ll go into more depth with that answer when I get to your question on cancer.

How have you felt that diet and the medical world have changed over time? Do you feel as if people are searching for more holistic approaches now?

Diet and the medical world are constantly changing sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I think that children are eating more poorly now than ever because of the availability of processed and fast food and the busy lifestyles of parents, so a lot of children are not getting the best start nutritionally, on the other hand, information is very much available on the Internet and a lot of people are doing their own research and trying to improve their health and eating habits for themselves and families.

When did you start your social media content creating journey? Do you feel that it gave you a large audience to reach out to?

I am just starting on my social media journey. As I said previously, I have always worked in gyms, health clubs and physically in college teaching. Covid changed that and I retired from the gym, we moved to a small town to provide a lifestyle that appeals to us, so we are close to a beach, hiking trails, downhill, skiing, cross-country skiing, bike trails, all the things I love to do. I also recently transitioned into a different focus with my career and moved to an online and virtual business. It is a perfect time to market yourself on social media right now, but it is something I had to learn so I started tinkering and experimenting with Instagram on and off but decided to get serious five months ago. I read that if you want to grow your Instagram account you need to post something every day, so I just started doing that and the more you post the more you get comfortable with it and the more you find your style and your niche. It is now five months later, and I am pleased with the growth I’ve had. It’s been a positive experience for me.  I feel like I have met hundreds of new friends. Also, I enjoy being creative and this provides a creative outlet for me.

How do you feel your metabolic nutrition affects someone who has cancer what are the things they should avoid eating and what should they be focused on eating?

In April 2021, my husband was diagnosed with stage 3/4 plasma plastic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With my background in holistic nutrition, I knew that a ketogenic diet would be helpful for him. Everybody knows that cancer feeds off sugar, so that is where I wanted to start. I had used the ketogenic diet with clients for weight loss, but it was not the only diet I used as far as diets were concerned, I was agnostic and usually started with basic balanced whole foods nutrition unless somebody preferred a specific diet such as vegetarian, low carb, etc.

I began to study the ketogenic diet, the work of Thomas Seyfried, Dr. Nasha Winters, Miriam Kalamian and more. Fascinated with what I was learning I took an in-depth course on Advanced ketogenic Diet with the American Nutrition Association. My husband ‘s journey with cancer was fascinating and probably too long for this article but in short, if you look up that cancer, you will see it’s a very aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. He sailed through a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment. There were six rounds and by the third round the oncologist was blown away, and said he was his number one patient for the least side effects to chemotherapy, and when he took some scans, the tumors of which there was many, and they were very large, had shrunk by 85% By the sixth round, the pharmacist came up to meet my husband and said I wanted to meet the person getting this treatment because we have never dispensed it at this hospital before – no one made it that far. Currently, my husband is cancer free.

Cancer cells, ferment glucose. That is the fuel they live off. So, by eliminating sugar (that includes all carbs) you pull the plug on the food supply for cancer cells to thrive. Healthy cells are metabolically flexible and can use fat and ketones for fuel. ketones are cytotoxic to cancer cells. There are so many reasons to consider a therapeutic ketogenic diet for cancer, not only fights the cancer and weak cancer cells, but it also helps the chemotherapy and radiation do what they are supposed to do while protecting healthy cells and reducing the negative side effects of conventional treatments. Once my husband was through with all his cancer treatments and declared cancer-free, I wanted to continue to study and help other people. I am now in a postgraduate course to become a Certified Oncology Nutritionist. This is a long answer as I told you this is an interview in and of itself but to answer your question about what cancer patient should stay away from and what they should be eating number one is staying away from sugar and carbohydrates but yes, there is a lot of foods – powerful Phyto-nutrients in plants that are also helpful in fighting cancer and reducing side effects to conventional treatments. Everybody has cancer cells. Only one in 1000 people do not have cancer cells. I use a terrain-based approach, and the idea is to create an inhospitable environment for cancer to grow. 

Do you feel that many cancer patients understand that nutrition plays a big factor into the recovery process?

Some do and some do not. I don’t like to spend too much time trying to convince somebody that changing their diet can help. I think if somebody believes that diet changes can help and is searching for help then I can help them. For people who don’t believe that diet will make a difference, it will be very hard for them to make the changes and commitment required. They will likely get some pushback from concerned, family, friends, and even their oncologist so it’s important that they have faith and a strong belief in what they’re doing. In the book Radical Remissions by Dr. Kelly Turner, she travelled the world for 10 months studying cases of cancer survivors who survived against all odds. She found 9 common themes and number one was radically changing your diet.

What did you think of your current age when you were younger?

I thought it was old, I would never have believed I would still be in the fitness industry at this age.

Is there something that you would like to try to learn how to do now?

I have always had a love of learning and that hasn’t changed.  I would like to get better at social media and technology, that does not come naturally for me.

Also, I always have physical goals on, that list right now is learning to do a freestanding, handstand the splits and pull-ups. Whether I ever learn to do them is irrelevant, but I will keep trying to.

What are your top five tips to maintain your health and energy as you get older?

  • Exercise that includes resistance, training, some form of cardio and stretching
  • Walk every day outdoors. And aim for 10,000+ steps a day.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes Whole Foods. Reduce sugar, processed foods, and empty calories. Stop eating three hours before going to bed.
  • Manage stress by looking after your mental emotional and spiritual well-being by meditating, praying spending time in nature whatever it is for you. 
  • Have fun, laugh, and play. I like skiing, paddle boarding and hiking for you it might be pickle ball, dancing, or singing in the shower. Whatever it is make sure that you have some form of play and fun and recreation in your life.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get more in control of their body’s health wise and physically, but doesn’t know what the first step to take is?

That depends. Everyone is different and at a different starting point. Research and initiate a walking routine, explore resistance training, and make gradual dietary improvements. Seeking professional guidance like a personal trainer or nutritionist can provide a solid starting point. There are also a lot of great books and people sharing their expertise on social media. Start by making small changes. I am reading a book right now called Atomic Habits by James Clear. In the book he talks about the 1% rule. If you get 1% better each day for 1 year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you are done. If you get 1% worse each day you will decline nearly down to 0.

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Shannah

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