Junk-free in dad's memory

By Alexandra Newlove

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Kamo's Kat Puru is giving up junk food this month  in memory of her dad. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Kamo's Kat Puru is giving up junk food this month in memory of her dad. Photo / Michael Cunningham

A list of "danger foods" glaring at her from the fridge door will be keeping Kat Puru on track this Junk Free June.

But it's the memory of her dad, John Tapu, who passed away 17 years ago aged just 43, that is the real driving force behind Ms Puru's fundraising efforts.

Mr Tapu died of stomach cancer, and Ms Puru said since then she's had a go at a number of cancer-related fundraisers, including Relay For Life.

Yesterday Ms Puru was having a final hurrah with treat foods while in the process of clearing her Kamo home of any temptation. She was also aiming to cut out alcohol. Her list of no-go foods included pastries, white sugar, white bread, cakes, donuts, fast food, icecream, store-bought juices and chips.

She expected alcohol and hot chips to be her biggest challenges, and had opted out of going to a concert this weekend to avoid the temptation to drink.

"I decided to stay home and well away," she said. "The majority I don't really eat or drink anyway.

But now and then I might do hot chips - that's one of my favourites. I also drink RTDs, which have a lot of sugar."

Ms Puru hoped the month would see the whole family eating healthier, including her daughters, 13 and 14, and 1-year-old son.

Junk Free June is a Cancer Society fundraiser which started last year, where about 1000 participants raised $357,000 New Zealand-wide.

Yesterday, more than 8000 people had signed up and $80,000 had been donated.

The month operated off the back of research which showed about a third of the most common cancers can be prevented through a nutritious diet, maintaining healthy weight and regular exercise.

- Visit junkfreejune.org, click "donate" and search "Kat Puru" to support Ms Puru's efforts.

- Northern Advocate

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