Lifestyle Changes to Heal Cancer

15 07 2009

I’m done, here it is.  After 5 months of reading books, watching documentaries, and researching the internet, this is a synthesis of “lifestyle changes” that people believed helped them heal their cancer.

1. Follow a vegan (“plant-centered”) diet high in organic green leafy vegetables

  • get your full RDA of potassium, 4.7 grams[1], from a variety of fruits and vegetables
    • this will help to detoxify your liver and is the most important step to healing cancer
    • fruits and green leafy vegetables contain cancer killing phytonutrients so eat them raw, juice them, never over-cook them or microwave them
    • have a green smoothie a day or at least every other day
  • low to no added salt, you want to maximize potassium intake and salt prevents this
  • low to no added oil, except supplement daily with 1 tbs of Flax Seed Oil (high in Omega 3)
    • a high Omega 6 to 3 ratio creates inflammation and cancer feeds off inflammation; supplementing with Flax Seed Oil turns down the inflammation
    • avoid all fried foods which, by their nature, have a high Omega 6 to 3 ratio
    • green leafy vegetables will give you the natural, healthy ratio of Omega 6 to 3
  • IMPORTANT: avoid meat and milk dairy products, turn cancer off by keeping the total calories from meat and dairy in your diet at 5-10% or less; 20% or more fuels cancer [4]
  • avoid vitamins, use meal tracking to get your full RDA from food
    • make sure you’re getting plenty of Beta Carotene, Vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc
    • for example, one brazil nut will give you more then your RDA of Selenium
  • avoid unfermented soy like tofu and soy protein isolates, it will may fuel estrogen driven cancers
    1. “Choosing traditional and less processed forms of soy (such as tofu, miso, tempeh, edamame and even soy milk) over highly processed soy foods (such as soy cheeses, soy meats, and soy protein isolates) is likely to be a safer choice, as well.” [3]
    2. Avoid soy protein isolates in protein powders, power bars, fake food, etc
  • avoid artificial sweeteners, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and sugar
    • low GI natural sweeteners like Agave Nectar or Stevia are best
    • plant-center vegan diets are naturally low GI
    • if you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar in-check to reduce inflammation

2. Drink plenty of water to help detox your body; avoid caffeine and alcohol which will dehydrate you

  • men: 3.7L = 16 8oz cups = 1 gallon/day [1]
  • women 2.7L = 12 8oz cups/day [1]

3. Practice some form of stress reduction daily

  • affirmations, yoga, meditation, positive visualization, breathing exercises, whatever releases stress for you
  • this re-balances your stressed out endocrine system, important for reducing inflammation and allow your body’s natural healing mechanisms to kick-in

4. Aerobic exercise for 30min 6x a week

  • studies show exercise does help cancer patients kill cancer

5. Sunbathe to get your Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D, which acts more like a hormone than a vitamin, makes up the foundation of good health.  The best source of Vitamin D is from the sun on your skin but obviously you never want to over expose your skin to the point of that you burn.  Some people recommend 30min a day, but I don’t think there are any studies to suggest any recommendations.  A highly acidic diet,  a diet high in animal protein and processed foods, prevents your body from utilizing the active form of this hormone which has important anti-cancer properties.

My doctor’s can’t advise me on anything but surgery, radiation or chemo — that’s ok, doctors are just technicians.  A vegan diet to heal cancer would be so alien to any MD since they get little, if any, training in nutrition.  Meanwhile, big companies are conducting research on food for its anti-cancer properties in the attempt to patent mother nature.  The modern medical idea of “One Disease, One Cure” doesn’t work on chronic illnesses like cancer or heart disease.  Eventually, research on food will transform treatments for chronic illnesses like cancer.  Already, the medical establishment has conceded that heart disease can be cured through diet alone[2]. my belief is that cancer is next.

The “lifestyle changes” above are a good complement to traditional treatments.  I, myself, have progressively adopted these “lifestyle changes” while on chemo as I learned about them and my cancer has stopped growing.  After 6 months of chemo cycles, I’m now off chemo since my cancer has been stable for 6 months.  There’s two parts to this lifestyle change that I find the most difficult: a) eating 5g of potassium from leafy greens and b) drinking enough water.  These two are key to detoxing the liver, and after 6 months of chemo I’m sure my liver needs some healing attention.

Will my cancer go away or continue to be stable?  That’s the biggest question on my mind, I’ll let you know how it turns out in a few months.

Update 7/28 – In addition to heart disease[2], it seems diabetes type 2 can also be reversed by following a raw vegan diet:

Update 8/23 – Added emphasis to lowering eating meat and dairy to under 10% of total calories to turn cancer off[4], and clarified information about soy safety[3].

Update 9/15 – Latest MRI results are in: tumor is shrinking after following this diet for two months

Update 9/16 – There is one pre-requite to starting this diet, make sure your digestion is working properly.  If you have candidiasis, irritable bowel syndrome, or similar digestion problem, this must be solved first through proper food combining, eating “live” fermented foods like rejuvelac, etc. “The Body Ecology Diet” by Donna Gates and “The Living Foods Lifestyle” by Brenda Cobb are the best books to start with.

Update 1/25/2010 – “The Body Ecology Diet” by Donna Gates and “The Living Foods Lifestyle” by Brenda Cobb, the book Digestive Tune-Up by Dr. McDougall is an excellent reference for healing your digestion.

Update 4/22 – Added getting sun exposure for all your Vitamin D needs.  Happy Earth Day!







Sucking Green Smoothies – Live Blog

14 07 2009

Lastest Update: 7/20 11:30am

6:45pm So I’m following @jeffsekerak on Twitter — he’s promoting his raw vegan lifestyle.  I came across “Green for Life” while reading Jeff’s blog and immediately ordered the book.  I got sucked in, the author and her family were raw vegan for seven years and then started to hit a sticking point.  What she discovered was that her family need to eat more greens.  (Same with any cancer patient, we need to be eating more greens.)  I’m still in the process of reading “Green for Life” but it didn’t stop me from blending my first green smoothie.  I though I’d start with kale.  Like the author at first, the taste was quite strong but I sweetening it up with apples, bananas, dates, agave nectar, and it worked like a charm.  I’m sucking a green smooth right now and it tastes fresh — not like grass or lawn or sticks & twigs like I first imagined.  I’ve created a quart of green smoothy and I’m one glass into it.

6:58pm I don’t think I’ll be able to finish off a quart of it, I’m getting kind of full so I’ll take a break.

7:22pm I think the green smoothie is giving me a buzz?

10:20pm Not as bad as an experience as I had feared.  Day 1 complete.  Now to do it for 5 days!  Will report on progress.

7/20 11:30am A week later and I’m finding my body now ‘craves’ green smoothies.  (Who would have thought?)  I’m adding 2 cups of chopped kale to almond milk with 1tbs of Flax Oil for Omega 3 as a base smoothie.  I’ll add 1 scoop of Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer or 2 scoops Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion to increase the protein content.  At this point, the smoothie needs a whole lot of sweetening so I’ll add frozen bananas, any kind of frozen berries, dates, agave nectar to get it to where it tastes good to me. (Hint: instead of adding ice, use frozen fruit — it bumps up the flavor and potassium level)

I’m trying to get my partner hooked on green smoothies so I gave him a shot glass full to try — not impressed.   (According to my partner, it has the look, consistency of cow diarrhea, smells like grass, but doesn’t taste like it looks or smells.  My advice: ignore your first impression.)

As far as the health benefits so far, I’ve noticed that my digestion seems to be improving (I’m using the beet challenge method which I’ve been flunking for two months until this week — see “Green for Life” p.70).  Obviously, improving digestion is key to improving overall health so that feels like a major accomplishment just within a week — wow!  I’ve also noticed my skin seems to ‘glow’, but I still have some dark circles around my eyes.  However, the silliest thing of all is how much my body craves green smoothies.  So now, I’m just following my green cravings.  I’m going to do this for the rest of the month and I’ll update you on my adventure with green smoothies early August.