My favorite vegan resources for cancer patients and cancer survivors
As I've been listening to people's stories of how they went vegan and how it affected their health so positively, in ways they'd never imagined, I was struck by all the different paths we take. I started to insert pictures in the stories of all the different books and documentaries people told me about (some I had never read or seen) that drew them to going vegan in case any call out to you, too.
Here are the ones that drew me to going vegan after my cancer treatment was finished.
I've always been a conscious eater and had read Michael Pollan's Food Rules many years ago when it came out. At this same time I also watched Food Inc., Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation and they all had similar messages about processed food that made so much sense to me that I adopted more of a whole foods way of eating for my family, searched out organic foods and stopped eating red meat.
That's one reason why the stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis slapped me so hard in the face. While I was still undergoing cancer treatment, I watched a lot of cancer documentaries to try and make some sense of it. Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer was the first time I'd heard about changing my diet towards a whole foods plant-based diet as it relates to cancer.
So, with that mindset, I asked my oncologist, "What should I be eating? What shouldn't I be eating?" and she answered, "Eat what ever you want to eat. Eat whatever you can eat, especially during treatment." I didn't believe that could be true, but then found out that most doctors have very little, if any, nutritional training and in oncology, the focus is on chemotherapy and radiation, along with surgery to remove tumors.
So, I went on a quest searching for more nutritional guidance, as it relates to cancer patients and cancer survivors.
That's when I found the documentary Forks Over Knives, which is currently available to watch for free on Netflix or for rent on Amazon. This was the first time I'd heard that all types of animal protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs. milk and all dairy products)
in the diet were shown in many different types of reliable, significant scientific studies of many different kinds to "turn-on" or activate cancer cells in a very specific way. As I listened as T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., author of The China Study, explain all the
different studies and results, I decided right then and there I would immediately stop eating all animal protein.
I pictured any lurking cancer cells in my lymph nodes and chest wall like little Pac-Men who would gobble up any animal protein I ate and grow dark, large and jagged. I felt the same way about sugar, which I'd heard and read fuels cancer cells' growth, and never ate either again.
The next day I ordered the Forks Over Knives Cookbook to help me learn how to cook whole food, plant-based meals.
Just after that epiphany, a book was suggested to me by one of my editors, called Radical Remission
which further solidified my decision to adopt a whole food plant-based way of eating. Radically changing your diet in this exact way was one of author, Ph.D. and researcher Kelly Turner's 9 common factors she found (out of 75 factors tested) that can make a difference in cancer remission.
Finally, I felt like I was doing something concrete to keep cancer away. Like I had some power over cancer.
But why don't most cancer patients and people suffering from the symptoms and risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease know this information? The food industries keep us hooked on junk processed foods and animal food products that cause disease and the pharmaceutical companies supply the medications used to cover up the diseases and their symptoms are the ones who possess the power and the money to keep information about nutrition squashed. It's a big, wide web of deceit. But many M.D.s have gotten brave and written large tomes outlining the medical benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some more doctors and books that say the same thing:
Proteinaholic, by Garth Davis, M.D.
Eat To Live, by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.
I was also lucky enough to follow a 10-day online docu-series called The Truth About Cancer which gave me even more of a framework to view the cancer treatment I had undergone and what a powerful part whole food, plant-based nutrition plays.
The more I learned, the more I sought out other documentaries such as Earthlings,
which shows exactly how the different meat and animal products get on your plate (if you are brave enough to watch it) and Cowspiracy
which shows the damage the animal agriculture industry does to the earth. The more I learned, the better I felt about eating vegan.
Lots of people say, "Going vegan is such a radical decision." But my reply is that it is actually much more radical to surgically remove your breasts and ovaries (or a portion of your colon or prostate), crack open your chest and transplant an artery from your leg there because your arteries are blocked with plaque or have your foot amputated, go blind or have a heart attack and die due to diabetes all because you won't stop eating steak, chicken, cheese and pizza. Even relying on some medication for the rest of your life for some disease is a truly radical decision when the simplest, scientifically proven way to attack most disease is with high quality whole plant-based foods. It's just that simple. And, you don't know how the simple change will affect your health positively until you've tried it. You also don't know it won't work unless you try it.
Do I know for a fact that changing my entire lifestyle for the plant-based, whole food, simpler, less toxic, less stressful, more mindful choices will actually keep my cancer from coming back? Nope. But I think it will and that's half the battle, I've heard. And if my cancer does come back, I won't go through conventional cancer treatment again and will be heading straight to Mexico for the alternative treatment cancer clinics such as the Gerson Clinic, the New Hope Clinic and the Hoxsey Bio-Medical Clinic where Stage 4 cancer patients find remission every day. In the meantime, I plan to live life and be happy and have adventures instead of worrying about cancer coming back. Then I will know I have actually tried everything there is and will be at peace with whatever happens next.
Going vegan isn't a radical decision for me or anyone else who is interested in preventing or reversing disease. Instead, the choice really is in line with my long term values of staying healthy, reducing my carbon footprint on the earth and loving all animals.
And that's how I became so gratefully vegan.
Going through or recovering from cancer treatment? I've been there!
Want to take back your health eating this way
but need help to get the health & weight loss results you really want?
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With Love, Broccoli & Vegan Weight Loss Magic✨
Vegan Coach Naomi