My Great-Aunt Marie had stage IV cancer and apparently survived for many years by traveling around the world trying out alternative therapies. Too bad there weren't blogs back then. I'd love to read about her experiences. I picture her in a Tijuana clinic with an IV of vitamins.

It baffles me that oncologists don't offer any nutritional guidance for cancer patients. Are they convinced that diet won't make a difference? Or perhaps they don't want to shame their patients.

My sister-in-law is an expert in holistic nutrition and doesn't mind shaming me, so she sent me her dietary recommendations: the Budwig diet (cottage cheese and flaxseed oil), whole foods, greens, fish instead of meat, no sugar, avoiding food dyes and plastics, etc.  Basically don't eat anything that came from a factory.

One night in a panic, I ordered a bunch of cancer nutrition books from Amazon.  When they showed up on my doorstep two days later, I had forgotten all about them.  I open up the box expecting another case of Goldfish or night diapers, and instead I see How Not to Die.

During an episode of Daniel Tiger, I skimmed the chapter "How Not to Die From Breast Cancer" and learned all about the dangers of alcohol, HCAs in cooked meat, cholesterol, and melatonin disruption.  I should be engaging in daily "vigorous exercise" (does chasing my toddler around count?) and eating loads of fiber, greens, flaxseeds, and soy.

I also skimmed the section on cancer-fighting superfoods in Anti Cancer.  Olives and olive oil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cruciferous vegetables, vegetables rich in carotenoids, tomatoes, berries, citrus fruit, dark chocolate, vitamin D, omega-3s, soy, and probiotics.  (The author also includes green tea, mushrooms, and seaweed, but those are all gross, so I can't in good conscience recommend them.)  I think I also saw queso on the list.  Yup, I'm pretty sure.

As soon as I was diagnosed, I immediately gave up alcohol, artificial sugar, and most processed foods.  I've been eating a whole foods plant-based diet along with salmon, eggs, cottage cheese, and grass-fed yogurt.

It hasn't been that difficult to stick to.  When I had my PET scan, I had to follow a strict no-carb diet for a day, and then the technician injected me with sugar right before the scan so he could see the hungry cancer cells lighting up.  Now I can't eat a cookie without picturing mutant red cancer cells multiplying.

Maybe if I eat a Honey Mama's coffee-chocolate bar followed by a bowl of flaxseeds, it'll all work out.

If not, I'm road-tripping it to Mexico.


  1. I agree. Seaweed is gross. Don't mind long as they are the tame white ones.
    Since you are trying to eat healthy, you might want to include purple fruits and vegetables. Purple cabbage, eggplant, black currants, blackberries, blueberries and purple sweet potatoes. They all contain anthocyanins, which are supposed to prevent dementia and Alzheimers. New information that I just got from David Suzuki's tv show. I can do cabbage and berries...but I could never see the reason for eggplant.


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