Thrive – real life food journeys with Dani Binnington

food stories_preview - Thrive Nutrition and Health Magazine

Welcome to another amazingly inspirational ‘Real Life Food Journey’ with Thrive – with Dani Binnington.

I was 33 when I was told that the lump in my left breast was a highly aggressive cancer and that my treatment would include surgeries, chemo and radiotherapy. My eldest daughter was 4 and my twin girls were just 2.

As a whole family, we went into ‘doing mode’. It was like life was happening to us and we were the puppets playing along. We were so busy with the schedule of my treatment and with look-ing after our little girls that there was no time to think or do anything else. I had made a deal with myself – that I would get up every morning and take my girls to nursery. And I managed it!

It was only after my treatment had finished that my life began to crumble. I had lost all trust in my body. Uncertainty and anxiety ruled my mind and I had no idea what and how to feel anymore. Ironically, people around me congratulated me on having finished treatment. To them it was as if I had finished and survived the worst. Yet, for me, the worst was yet to come. I was plagued by physical pains which I always thought to be a recurrence. My hopes were low and I just felt so ill.

Then, something inside of me shifted and I felt this incredibly strong sensation that I needed to take control. I needed to become as active as possible in my recovery process. I could not just sit back and hope for the best.

Initially this meant me jumping on the ‘clean eating’ bandwagon. From one day to the next I cut out major food groups that I thought were unhealthy for me. I removed all dairy, meat, refined sugar, wheat, gluten, all caffeine and all alcohol from my diet. I went ‘everything- free’.

I was super regimented and needless to say it was exhausting and no fun at all. I then made a massive U-turn in what I call my ‘food revolution’. I started to celebrate and focus on all the amazing foods that I wanted to eat, rather than on what I thought to eliminate.

I began to discover real, whole and fresh food. Food is much more than macro nutrients and calories. Food makes us happy, signals our hormones to dance around inside of us. It is much more than filling a hunger gap. Today, my family and I celebrate all foods. Our diet is full-of, not free-from! It is my mission to make healthy eating family friendly, doable and sustainable.

Today I feel totally excited about all the amazing choices we have of the wonderful foods we can eat. Eating well is a form of self-respect. Taking care of our bodies is a necessity. I firmly believe that running on auto pilot simply isn’t good enough!

It was also at this point in my life that my mother in law convinced me to join her weekly yoga class. And although the first few months on my mat were merely taken up by worrying about not losing my wig in downward dog, I kept going back, I got hooked and began my yoga teacher training. Today I teach local weekly classes, mindful workshops and host wonderful yoga retreats.

By eating the most nutritious food I could and by discovering the healing and strengthening effects of yoga, I slowly started to recharge my batteries and renewed my cells.

Changing my lifestyle helped me regain control over my life, which in return gave me so much hope. My family friendly and simple healthy recipes can be found on my blog, over at: