An Anti-Cancer Diet Is The Cornerstone of Holistic Cancer Recovery

Whatever your relationship with food prior to your diagnosis of cancer, HCRH strongly recommends an “anti-cancer diet.”

The sad reality is that the standard Western diet produces inflammation – which is the foundation for most illnesses. This diet is full of sugar, refined white flour, red meat, heavy starches, fast food, fried food, processed food, sugar loaded drinks, carbohydrates from bread, pasta, chips, pastries; with few fruits and vegetables.

These foods are high in calories, often have a high glycemic index which spike your blood sugar, and are low in fiber and the nutritional elements needed to heal the body from cancer treatments. They do nothing to slow the growth of cancer or reduce inflammation throughout your body.

Research studies have shown that cancer LOVES sugar!

On the other hand, there is clinical evidence that certain foods promote the death of cancer cells and are very effective in promoting the healing of the gut microbiome, tissue repair, and strengthening the immune system.

Who would think that food could be so important and powerful? And yet it is, on so many levels.

The goals of an anti-cancer diet are threefold:

  1. You want to make your body inhospitable for cancer.
  2. You want to feed your precious body the micronutrients and antioxidants that will heal the effects of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and other procedures.
  3. You want to strengthen all parts of your body for optimum health, digestion, mobility, vitality.

As a cancer patient, changing what you eat is one of the most effective ways to influence your cancer outcome and give yourself an experience of Self- empowerment.

From the moment you begin preparing your first anti-cancer meal, you the patient have become a change-agent in the trajectory of your cancer journey. After all the things that seemed out of your control – the diagnosis, the need for medical treatment, becoming a “patient”- you land on something that is entirely within your control – the preparation and consumption of healthy, healing food.

Here, you are in the driver’s seat. Here, you take daily ACTIONS to feed your body, mind, emotions and spirit. This personal empowerment has amazing, uplifting consequences. FEAR is pushed aside, energy and positivity are generated, and your body is blessed with healing micronutrients that will counteract the toxic effects of medical treatment

So what is an anti-cancer diet composed of?

As a cancer patient and Holistic psychotherapist, this is a blueprint of my anti-cancer diet which I follow each and every day, and will follow for the rest of my life.

I eat a whole food diet primarily full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, salads, soups and drinks for healing and hydration, whole grains, nuts, herbs.

My anti-cancer diet is rich in fruits (especially blueberries and blackberries – but really all fruits) and vegetables (carrots, cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts; tomatoes, asparagus, cucumbers, onions and garlic, dark leafy greens, beets, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, yams/sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, turmeric, ginger and herbs; protein from lean meats (turkey, chicken), fatty fish like salmon, tofu; healthy fat from walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, avocados; whole cornmeal, organic popcorn, and steel cut oatmeal.

Goat yogurt, kefir, and cheese that are easier to digest than cow’s milk and help to restore good bacteria in the gut microbiome.

Smoothies made of fruits (bananas, berries, apples), some vegetables, avocado, kefir, pomegranate juice, ground flax or chia seeds. They are nutritious, easy to swallow and digest, and can be a good meal replacement if you are nauseous from chemotherapy.

Juicing fruits and vegetables provides an instant flow of micronutrients and antioxidants directly into your blood stream – which counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and tests which require contrasts. My typical juice contains: 4-5 pounds of carrots, 3 large cucumbers, 3 large zucchini, 1 bunch of celery, 3 medium size beets and beet tops, 2 inches of ginger, 3 large apples or other fruit, 1 bag organic baby spinach.

Bottled water in large amounts and herbal teas flush out toxins, aid in elimination, and hydrate the body.

Little to no sugar; no white or refined flour, no alcohol or sodas, no red meat, fast food, fried food. Honey and agave as sweeteners.

In my 3 years of Pancreatic cancer recovery, this Anti-cancer diet has produced quantifiable, amazing results:

Rapid healing after surgery, strength building and weight gain before starting chemotherapy, minimal nausea and problems with digestion and elimination during chemotherapy, 30 months of “no detectable cancer,” followed by a rapid decrease in pancreatic tumor marker numbers (CA19-9 blood test) after Ablation of a metastatic tumor in my liver 5 months ago.

Even though my doctors strongly recommended I start systemic chemotherapy immediately after my Ablation, I told them I wanted to give my body time to recover and heal herself naturally with my anti-cancer lifestyle. (Normal range of cancer tumor marker is 20 – 49. On day of the Ablation, my number was 2,202. Over the next 3 months it dropped to 274, then 95, then 87, then 51, then return to status of “no detectable cancer tumors” in my body.)

Now that I once again have no detectable cancer, the doctors have been amazed and attribute my positive results to my anti-cancer lifestyle. We will keep chemotherapy an option if I ever need it, and I continue periodic surveillance testing with my Oncologist and Interventional Radiologist.

Here are some helpful links to specialists in the field of Oncology and Nutrition that can help you evaluate your current diet and prepare for constructing your own Anti-cancer diet:

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Juicing as a MOVEMENT Action


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Smoothies and Compote For A Healthy New Year


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Food as Medicine