COVER STORY

Cynthia Ka and Her Philosophy of a Healthy Lifestyle

with Cynthia Ka 

MAYU is a sustainable luxury brand that produces fish leather accessories by upcycling discarded fish skins.

20 june ‘22

7 minutes

#COVERSTORY

Cynthia Ka is a French naturopath, yoga instructor, and plant-based nutritionist. More than five years after beating breast cancer, she is continuing to build a balanced, sustainable lifestyle centered on health and wellness - and she is sharing it with her many social media followers. 

Words by Rebekah Smith 

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka

In a world that values on-the-go, highly processed foods and fad diets, practicing sustainable wellness can be difficult. Cynthia Ka is a French naturopath, yoga instructor, and plant-based nutritionist. She has always been interested in a lifestyle centered on wellness. After her battle with breast cancer in 2016, she became more passionate about speaking out about the big picture of health and wellness. “I used to work in marketing and communication for the big companies like Netflix and Deezer. Just over two years ago, I made a switch to redirect my focus into the wellbeing and wellness sector,” Ka says.

“You’re always transitioning, you’re always reverting back into old habits…I think wellness as a whole is just what works best for you anyways.”

Cynthia Ka

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

Julia Volk


Healthy lifestyle 

Ka defines a healthy lifestyle as finding what works for each person. An example of a healthy lifestyle includes not going to McDonald’s or eating fast food every day. Though it changes from person to person, Ka says that “having the will first of all to try to understand what wellness is and what is going to work for you and then be able to do the transition” are important first steps for creating a lifestyle of wellness. “I think being healthy is a lifetime transition,” she says.


“You’re always transitioning, you’re always reverting back into old habits…I think wellness as a whole is just what works best for you anyways.”

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition



Be realistic and honest

When it comes to being healthy, many people want it to be quick and easy. “The biggest component is just consistency,” Ka says. Transitioning to a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong practice. “You don’t have to do it every day,” she says, but if your goal is a lifestyle of health and wellness, it is important to remember that is what you are working towards.

It requires consistency in your everyday choices. “It’s just like, little steps really,” Ka describes.

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

Daria Shevtsova


“I have this understanding that you have to try things and you have to be able to fail,” she says. Ka began her journey towards a healthy lifestyle after receiving her breast cancer diagnosis. “Even if I don’t like to say that it was a turning point, it led me first to being vegetarian and then being a vegan,” she says. “When I started chemo, I started fasting during my chemo.” 


Ka slowly began to remove meat from her diet, realizing she could still get enough protein and nutrients from plants. “I had cancer in 2016, became a vegetarian in 2017 and then I went vegan last year. So, it took four and a half years for me to go all the way to being vegan, which is fun for me, and it’s very natural.” Beyond transitioning to eating vegan, Ka stopped drinking alcohol in February 2021. Her transition into a lifestyle of health and wellness was born out of a personal willingness to try to understand and work with her body. “It’s an adventure and I love itKa says.





Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka



Although her diagnosis was a turning point in her health and wellness journey, Ka says that it is about more than just preventing disease. “The point is to really feel good every day about what you’re eating and who you are as a person…Health is not just food, it’s emotional wellbeing and balance that you can bring to your life as well. So, for me, it’s just about feeling good and being good. And you don’t have to want to prevent any disease,” she says. Ka says that a healthy lifestyle includes a holistic view: “being healthy is just having balance…it doesn’t have to become an obsession.”


After learning about her cancer, Ka took a five-year hiatus from social media to focus on treatment and therapy. “And then after five years, I was like, ‘I have to start sharing’ because I could see October as well around the corner and I didn’t want to have the same type of messages of like, ‘oh, let’s go running and give money to cancer research’…that’s not what prevention is for me, so I started telling about my journey,” Ka says.


Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

Thirdman


How to inform through social media

She started sharing about her wellness lifestyle on TikTok on September 15, 2021 – exactly five years after her diagnosis. Due to her audience and a need for better communication capabilities, Ka transferred to Instagram. She began creating stories and posts on Instagram to talk about hormonal disruptors, which she says are the main cause of breast cancer today. “When I started talking about some foods that are hormone disruptors, I realized some people actually don’t know what hormonal distributors are and what they do to your body,” she says. Ka began creating videos about the topic and sharing easy vegan recipes once every week.


Due to her background in communication, Ka creates content that connects well with her audience. “I think what people like about my content is the efficiency as I use many bullet points, even when I talk it sounds very bullet point-y,” she says. Ka’s content is helpful for people who are going through cancer, as well as survivors who want to see that there is life after cancer which can be deciphered if they have the right tools.


For Ka, the “right tools” include practicing sustainable eating habits, mindfulness, yoga, and spending at least 20 minutes outside. She says that everyone can benefit from implementing these simple practices. Specifically, being self-aware and aware of one’s environment is beneficial. “I think [mindfulness] just unlocks so many things. I have very bad anxiety – I had anyway – and mindfulness helped me be more self-aware about what triggers me,” Ka says. She also recommends yoga: “I think everyone should do yoga. For me, it’s really a way of moving, and not everyone will like it, but I think everyone should at least do something that will make them move every day.”


Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka

Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Vegan, Breast cancer, Transition

@by_cynthia_ka


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